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When a Jesuit Counsels Others 
Some Practical Guidelines 

Charles M. Shelton, SJ. 


32/3 • MAY 2000 


The Seminar is composed of a number of Jesuits appointed from their provinces in 
the United States. 

It concerns itself with topics pertaining to the spiritual doctrine and prac- 
tice of Jesuits, especially United States Jesuits, and communicates the results to the 
members of the provinces through its publication, STUDIES IN THE SPIRITUALITY OF 
JESUITS. This is done in the spirit of Vatican IFs recommendation that religious 
institutes recapture the original inspiration of their founders and adapt it to the 
circumstances of modern times. The Seminar welcomes reactions or comments in 
regard to the material that it publishes. 

The Seminar focuses its direct attention on the life and work of the Jesuits 
of the United States. The issues treated may be common also to Jesuits of other 
regions, to other priests, religious, and laity, to both men and women. Hence, the 
journal, while meant especially for American Jesuits, is not exclusively for them. 
Others who may find it helpful are cordially welcome to make use of it. 


William A. Barry, S.J., directs the tertianship program and is a writer at Cam- 
pion Renewal Center, Weston, MA (1999). 

Richard A. Blake, S.J., teaches film studies at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, 
MA (1998). 

Philip J. Chmielewski, S.J., teaches religious social ethics at Loyola University, 
Chicago, IL (1998). 

Richard J. Clifford, S.J., teaches Old Testament at Weston Jesuit School of 
Theology, Cambridge, MA (1997). 

Gerald M. Fagin, S.J., teaches theology in the Institute for Ministry at Loyola 
University, New Orleans, LA (1997). 

Richard J. Hauser, S.J., teaches theology and directs the graduate programs in 
theology, ministry, and spirituality at Creighton University, Omaha, NE 

Thomas M. Lucas, S.J., chairs the Department of Fine and Performing Arts and 
teaches therein at the University of San Francisco, CA (1998). 

John M. McManamon, S.J., teaches history at Loyola-Marymount University, 
Los Angeles, CA (1999). 

Edward T. Oakes, S.J., teaches theology at Regis University, Denver, CO 

John W. Pa.dberg, S.J., is chairman of the Seminar, editor of STUDIES, and direc- 
tor and editor at the Institute of Jesuit Sources (1986). 

Timothy E. Toohig, S.J., a high-energy physicist, does research and administra- 
tion in Washington and lives at Georgetown University, DC (1997). 

The opinions expressed in STUDIES are those of the individual authors thereof. Parenthe- 
ses designate year of entry as a Seminar member. 

Copyright © 2000 and published by the Seminar on Jesuit Spirituality 
3601 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108 
(Tel. 314-977-7257; Fax 314-977-7263) 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others 

Some Practical Guidelines 

Charles M. Shelton, SJ. 


32/3 • MAY 2000 









Marian Cowan, C.S.J., and 
John Carroll Futrell, S.J. 

Roberto de Nobili, S.J. 

Companions in Grace 

A Handbook for Directors of the Spiritual 
Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola 


A guide and companion for those who direct others in 
making the Spiritual Exercises. A new edition of a 1980 
classic, by two outstanding experts in the field. Each of 
the four Weeks of the Exercises is treated in detail, and 
the book includes sections on Ignatius's rule for dis- 
cernment, directing an eight-day retreat, the 
J nineteenth-annotation retreat, annotation eighteen, and 

I more. 

i I 

I Paper ISBN 1-880810-38-7 

| pp. vii + 249: $18.95 I 

(Trans. Anand Amaladass, S.J., and Francis X. Clooney, S.J.) 

Preaching Wisdom to the Wise 
Three Treatises by Roberto de Nobili, S.J. 

How should the Christian faith be communicated to a 
non-European culture? Roberto de Nobili was one of 
the earliest Jesuit missionaries to address this question. 
This book gives three of de Nobili's treatises, classic 
early examples of a move toward what would now be 
called "inculturation," as well as an introduction by the 
translators that both critiques de Nobili's approach and 
|j appreciates his greatness. 

1 i 

Paper ISBN 1-880810-37-9 

| pp. xxii + 345: $29.95 

| Both books will be available in May 2000. 

Of all things . . . 

"Oh, you Jesuits are all intellectuals!" Once in a while a Jesuit may hear 
this comment, intended perhaps as praise or as blame. However true or false the 
statement may be, it does raise a question for the hearer: "What is an intellectual?" 
Don't worry, the following paragraphs are not going to be a philosophical disquisi- 
tion; they consist, rather, of a quotation and a brief comment. 

Some months ago the Catholic Commission on Intellectual and Cultural 
Affairs met at Holy Cross College. While addressing that meeting, Sr. Jeanne Knoer- 
le, S.P., a member of the staff of the Lilly Endowment, had this to say: 

The primary role of intellectuals is not to know everything. Not to explain 
everything. Not to answer all the questions. Not even to present careful 
arguments— though that surely is an important role. The primary role of 
intellectuals is, out of all they have seen and understood and questioned, to 
articulate the questions that will organize and break open the conversation. In 
the life of the mind, answers are never as important as questions, since 
questions order how the subject will be examined. And explanations are 
never as important as questions, since questions force the reader, not the 
writer, to answer them. The purpose of the intellectual life is not to answer 
questions, it is to generate insight in others (to open their eyes, so to 
speak), to expand everyone's horizon so that the eye of the mind of all 
participants is opened and truth, given all the resources available, can be 
uncovered in whatever way possible. 

In this sense, maybe all of us Jesuits, no matter what our academic training 
may be, or our past or present experiences and activities, are intellectuals. At least I 
hope so. 

Something old and something new. About forty years ago the novel A 
Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. appeared and garnered great acclaim. 
Some called it science fiction, others a Christian parable for an age distraught by 
looming nuclear war. I read the book then and reread it just last month. My conclu- 
sion was that it had lost none of its power. In its first part, entitled "Fiat Lux," a 
congregation of monks in the southwest of the United States, six hundred years after 
the nuclear war of the twentieth century, tries to preserve the remnants of learning 
that survived both the war and the "Great Simplification" that followed, in which 
most of humankind banded together to destroy every vestige of learning and every 
learned or even literate man or woman, convinced that it was the learned and their 
works that had brought on the nuclear destruction. For hundreds of years the monks 
tried to preserve the "Memorabilia" in their abbey and to reconstruct the world from 
items found or retrieved, such as scraps of books, pieces of transistors, a fragment of 
a circuit-board blueprint — all in the name of St. Leibowitz, an engineer who, some 
time ago, during what might be called the Dark Ages, had died a martyr while trying 
to preserve these vestiges of a higher culture. In the second part of the book, entitled 
"Fiat Homo," half a millennium later, the world had been in part reborn to what 


resembled a modern version of the Middle Ages. Feudal realms, such as the Empire 
of Denver and the City-State of Texarkana, and their rulers vie with each other for 
power. In the meantime, scholars slowly and painstakingly rediscover ancient texts, 
and then an enterprising monk at the abbey builds the first crude machinery to 
produce electric light for the first time in a thousand years. The abbey is caught up 
in the military rivalries and is almost destroyed. Fast forward another five hundred 
years to "Fiat Voluntas Tua," and the world has again scaled to the heights of civili- 
zation that the twentieth century had earlier attained. An even more devastating 
nuclear world war was again imminent; the Church was ready to send a starship of 
colonists to Alpha Centauri, led by monks of the abbey of St. Leibowitz. Again, a 
nuclear war breaks out and the cycle of mindless destruction begins anew. 

As I reread the above paragraph, I realized how arid it was in comparison 
with the richness of characters, plot, action, spiritual depth, reflection, and even 
humor in the novel itself. Take up the book and read. It is gripping. 

As for something new, just published in this year 2000 by a Spanish Jesuit, 
Javier Melloni, is a small book of fifty pages or so, The Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola 
in the Western Tradition, trans. Michael Ivens, S.J. (Leominster, U.K.: Gracewing 
Press). As the author, presently stationed at Manresa in Spain, says in his introduc- 
tion, "[T]he aim of the [book] is ... to present [the Exercises] not as an isolated 
phenomenon, the fruit of personal experience alone, but as resulting also from 
contact with the preceding spiritual tradition." The standpoint of the book is not 
historiographical but interpretative. Its 

concern is not to establish the literary genesis of the text, but to consider 
the sources as foundational layers in the Exercises themselves. Seeing the 
Exercises in this way we can better understand both their common — or 
inherited— character and their specific or original character, the light coming 
from knowledge of the sources enabling us to situate the Exercises within 
the great tradition of the West, and at the same time to identify the specific 
features which constitute Ignatius' own contribution to that tradition. 

The several chapters deal with (1) Ignatius's direct contact with the tradi- 
tion, (2) the Spiritual School of Fray Garcia de Cisneros, (3) features inherited from 
the tradition, and (4) the specificity of the Ignatian Exercises. The reader will meet 
some familiar figures, such as Denys the Areopagite and St. Bonaventure and, of 
course, Garcia de Cisneros, but also some people whom, I suspect, he may never 
have heard of before, such as Hugh of Balma, Hendrik Herp, and John Mombaer. 
They and others appear in an ingenious two-page "Genealogical Tree of the Exer- 
cises." In a few pages, the book demonstrates how tradition vivifies a work that 
nonetheless goes beyond the tradition, and in so doing becomes itself a life-giving 
part of the further development of that tradition. This book, too, is well worth the 

John W. Padberg, SJ. 



Setting the Scene l 

esuit Counsel and the Need for Guidelines 2 

esuit Spirituality and Our Counsel 5 

Practicing Jesuit Counsel: Spiritual Direction, 

Pastoral Counseling, and Therapy 8 

Some Practical Issues regarding Jesuit Counsel 17 

A. Setting Boundaries 17 

B. Confidentiality 23 

C. Making Referrals 27 

D. Transference 32 

Conclusion 35 


When a Jesuit Counsels Others 

Some Practical Guidelines 


Setting the Scene 

uestion: What is the most frequently performed ministry of Jesuits? 

a. planning or presiding at liturgical services 

b. teaching 

c. homilizing 

d. reading issues of STUDIES 

e. none of the above 

If you chose d, you earned the gratitude of the current Assistancy 
Seminar members. Unfortunately, you also chose incorrectly! In all likeli- 
hood, the correct answer is e. The apostolic enterprise Jesuits most fre- 
quently undertake is, simply, conversation (hereafter within these pages 
referred to as "counsel"). Consider the following scenarios on any typical 
day in the lives of Jesuits in the United States Assistancy. 

1. At a Jesuit secondary school located on the East Coast, Bob Wat- 
son, a high-school junior, stops by a regent's classroom after school to chat. 
His parents' recent divorce leads Bob to seek a caring, sympathetic ear. 

Charles M. Shelton, S.J., is associate professor of psychology at Regis University 
in Denver and a licensed psychologist in private practice. He has written a number of 
books and numerous articles and reviews on such topics as moral development, pastoral 
psychology, adolescent and adult mental health, and pastoral counseling; he also serves as a 
consultant to several religious organizations. In the summer of 2000, Crossroad/Herder & 
Herder will publish his latest book, "Achieving Moral Health. " His address is Regis Jesuit 
Community, 3333 Regis Blvd., Denver, CO. 80221; his e-mail address is <cshelton>. 

2 4* Charles M. Shelton, S.J. 

2. On the West Coast, at the midpoint of a week-long retreat, Sally 
Hendricks reveals to her Jesuit retreat director her struggle to reconcile 
God's love with her poor self-image. 

3. At a Midwestern Jesuit university, in the midst of conversation 
regarding departmental matters, a lay professor interrupts his Jesuit colleague 
and inquires whether before they conclude their meeting the Jesuit might 
reflect with him about a troubling family situation that occurred over the 
previous weekend. 

4. Going south, at the very moment that the Jesuit professor above 
listens attentively to his colleague, a Jesuit pastor reflects with a staff mem- 
ber on ways she might enhance her communication with the leaders of 
several parish-sponsored ministries. 

What unites these four situations? All contain instances where 
conversation with a Jesuit promotes another's emotional and spiritual well- 
being. Exercising this role is not only a vital resource Jesuits offer the People 
of God; it also constitutes a major apostolic enterprise of American Jesuits. 

Jesuit Counsel and the Need for Guidelines 

In light of the above and as a foundation for the discussion that follows, 
I offer this definition of Jesuit counsel. In a generic sense, yet specific for 
this article's purpose, Jesuit counsel refers to a focused conversation 
between a Jesuit and another person in which the Jesuit listens and when 
appropriate offers constructive comments, reflections, advice, or feedback 
whose primary purpose is to promote either another's spiritual well- 
being, his or her emotional functioning, or both. 1 This definition is broad 
enough to incorporate the major mainstream, conversationally based minis- 
tries of Jesuits— spiritual direction and pastoral counseling— yet narrow 
enough to exclude other ministerial relationships, such as teaching or 
academic advising. 

Several aspects of this work require that we think seriously and 
reflectively about the counsel we give. For one, a human being's capacity to 

I offer this definition of "Jesuit counsel" fully aware that experts have reached 
no consensus on the meaning of terms such as "spiritual direction," "pastoral counseling," 
or "counseling." Needless to say, one might rather easily find some examples that don't 
quite fit the definition suggested. Even so, "counsel" as defined herein casts a net wide 
enough to include the majority of conversationally based pastoral situations confronting 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others *k 3 

adapt is one of humanity's greatest strengths. Yet this same adaptability leads 
people to acquire habitual or set ways of doing things. Over time, a style of 
behavior or course of action can become so commonplace that we fail to 
give it much scrutiny. When this tendency to proceed according to a habit- 
ual pattern is applied to our counseling, even with the best of intentions we 
can rather easily slide into a self-complacent mode and become less self- 
observant than we might otherwise be. Accordingly, over the years many of 
us might have grown so accustomed to a certain counseling style that we 
probably haven't taken the time to reassess or think critically about the 
counsel we provide. Yet because our counsel is so integral to the Jesuit ideal 
of aiding souls in companionship, we would be wise to spend some time 
seriously examining it. 

A second reason to examine our counsel stems from the growing 
awareness among mental-health researchers that a major proportion of 
Americans suffer a mental disorder at some point in their lifetimes. 2 Thus, I 
think it safe to say that on average (but of course with many individual 
exceptions) the "typical" student, adult, colleague, directee, or counselee 
applying to a Jesuit for counsel is more likely to be unsure, confused, 
troubled, stressed, or impaired than his or her counterpart a quarter century 
ago. It is important, therefore, that a Jesuit's counsel remain informed, 
appropriate, and professional. 

In addition, as a domain of knowledge, psychology captures the 
fancy and imagination of many Americans. Browsing through any book- 
store, one is struck by the shelf space allotted to books promoting psycho- 
logical themes, such as determining healthy/dysfunctional relationships, 
advocating recovery/self-help issues, and fostering personal growth. Given 
our psychologically minded culture, it stands to reason that many who seek 
our counsel entertain preconceived notions of how Jesuits should conduct 
themselves in pastoral situations, or have specific expectations of what 
should take place during a conference or meeting with a Jesuit. Like others 
occupying ministerial roles within the Church community, Jesuits are rightly 
expected to follow professional standards, to possess sufficient self-knowl- 
edge, to employ an adequate level of psychological sophistication when 
ministering to others, and to be held accountable for their actions. 

Finally, over the past several years a number of cases involving 
inappropriate behavior of priests and religious have drawn wide media 

2 Darrel A. Regier, William E. Narrow, Donald S. Rae, Ronald W. 
Manderscheid, Ben Z. Locke, and Frederick K. Goodwin, "The de Facto US Mental and 
Addictive Disorders Service System," Archives of General Psychiatry 50 (February 1993): 

4 4* Charles M. Shelton, S J. 


coverage. These cases typically involve some type of boundary violation 
with respect to the vow of chastity. In some instances these behaviors 
include criminal wrongdoing of a sexual nature (for example, sexual abuse of 
a child or adolescent, child pornography). At other times they involve taking 
advantage of someone who is vulnerable (for instance, getting sexually 
involved with an adult counselee). As General Congregation 34 notes, 

Everyone should be aware that any failure in living faithfully the vow of 
chastity or any ambiguous relationships can afflict others cruelly, both 
spiritually and psychologically. Besides the issue of serious sin, such behav- 
ior can compromise the credibility of the Society within a culture that is 
skeptical about any fidelity in chastity and seriously injure its apostolic 
effectiveness. 3 

As a minimal goal, offering reflections and guidelines on our coun- 
seling will enhance awareness of these issues and, we may hope, help to 
minimize or curtail such pernicious behaviors. The four reasons discussed 
above might all be subsumed under the theme of consciousness raising — on an 
individual and a corporate level — in a way that allows us to think seriously 
and critically about the counsel we provide. Jesuits are rightfully proud that 
they are traditionally regarded as men of "good counsel." Accordingly, in the 
pages that follow, we offer sets of questions for reflection whose goal is to 
enhance self-examination and to foster personal insight aimed at nourishing 
and sustaining the "good counsel" we provide. 

Moreover, the themes addressed in the pages ahead reflect "serious" 
issues, because we are dealing both with other people's lives and with God's 
working through them. So if I err, I prefer to err by stressing our need for 
ongoing awareness, critical reflection, and recognition of our limitations. On 
a positive note, I am encouraged that today so much effort is devoted to 
helping our men in formation become effective pastoral ministers. In addi- 
tion, I find heartening and uplifting the enormous goodwill of the corporate 
Society, and the good intentions and selfless desires of the many Jesuits who 
so effectively serve both the Church and society at large. Nothing in these 
pages is intended to demean this overwhelmingly positive contribution. 
Nonetheless, because we are dealing with people's lives and because we are 
all human, it seems reasonable to address issues and concerns directly and 
honestly when they can reflect on both the Society's and the individual 
Jesuit's integrity. 

3 Decree 8, "Chastity in the Society of Jesus," in Documents of the Thirty-Fourth 
General Congregation of the Society of Jesus (Saint Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1995), 
no. 258 (p. 124). 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others •!• 5 

Jesuit Spirituality and Our Counsel 

Because many seek our counsel and our conversations with them 
occupy a considerable portion of our time and energy, it is important 
to reflect upon the counsel we give. A positive way to begin such 
reflection is by exploring how we might relate spirituality to our counsel. 
More specifically, our own spiritual tradition provides a helpful springboard 
for initiating this discussion. Taking this spirituality into account, we might 
pose a question like this: What aspects of Jesuit spirituality do I draw 
upon to nourish and support my role as a Jesuit who counsels others? 

A linkage between our spirituality and our counsel offers several 
advantages. For one, we are not just men who counsel but Jesuits who 
counsel. Thus, intertwining our spirituality and our counsel, ideally, calls us 
to reflect consciously on our (deepest) desires, one of which is working 
together as companions to promote our common mission to serve the 
People of God. Naturally, fidelity to this desire calls us to continually 
evaluate the quality of our counsel in terms of intentions and actual practice. 
To illustrate, we might ask ourselves: Does our counsel reflect living our 
vowed lives with integrity? Would someone who observed our counsel agree 
that our words and actions harmonize with the ideals inspiring and guiding 
Jesuit life? 

In addition, on a very practical level, linking our Jesuit spirituality 
with our counsel will reassure us in the unlikely event that some legal 
complaint should be brought against us or if public attention should be 
drawn to our counsel or pastoral efforts (always assuming that no real 
boundary violation has occurred). Our ability to articulate the spiritual 
underpinnings and motivations for the counsel we offer not only demon- 
strates our commitment to sound pastoral practice but also assures others 
that we are men of personal integrity. In today's litigious and media-driven 
climate, this witness to a sincere and prudent stance in matters of pastoral 
care and practice proves invaluable. In light of the above, four themes in 
Jesuit spirituality can serve as a support and guide for our counsel. 

1. Gratitude. An underlying premise of Ignatius's worldview was that 
everything is a gift from the Lord who has showered us with his love. If we 
experience our lives as "gifts," we are inclined to feel grateful. Moreover, we 
often sense the desire to give back, to respond generously to others in 
gratitude for the giftedness the Lord has bestowed upon us. 4 

As one might expect, our emotional states do influence the degree to which we 
aid others. See Robert B. Cialdini, Douglas T. Kenrick, and Donald J. Baumann, "Effects 

6 4* Charles M. Shelton, S.J. 

In addition, a sense of gratitude provides a buffer when we experi- 
ence negative emotions or are overly burdened by stressful events. Most of 
us at one time or another find ourselves held captive by unresolved anger or 
paralyzing fear. Of course, events in our lives can legitimately lead us to feel 
anxious or depressed; but even so, our tendency to dwell on the negative can 
make our lives more distressing at times than they need be. Gratitude offers 
a sturdy buffer, cushioning us against the stressful and daily conflicts that 
over time deplete our psychic energy. 

When people come to us in a worried or troubled state, they are 
often unable to experience gratitude or other positive emotions. Unfortu- 
nately, this inability to summon up a conscious sense of gratitude frequently 
leaves them prisoners of their negative feelings. Certainly, the absence of 
gratitude does not plunge anyone into a troubled state. Any individual's 
emotional problems stem from a unique admixture and complex interplay of 
biological, psychological, and social factors. Nonetheless, the void arising 
from an absence of gratitude predisposes people to fall prey to the fear, 
jealousy, doubt, guilt, and anger that trigger emotional distress. Making the 
choice to focus on memories and moments that stimulate grateful feelings 
makes sense both for us and for those we counsel. 

2. Doing good deeds. A second aspect of Jesuit spirituality that might 
serve to guide our counsel is Ignatius's idea that love ought to show itself 
more in deeds than in words. A client who came to me for therapy had the 
habit of talking about how he wished to enhance his significant relation- 
ships. He once told me, "I've always tried to be open to my friends and 
attentive to their needs." Unfortunately, his behavior was all too often the 
exact opposite. Instead of being vulnerable and open with his friends, he was 
in fact quite controlling in his dealings with them. As I gained his trust, I 
offered examples from his own life that showed the inconsistency between 
what he said and what he did. Fortunately, he had the psychological motiva- 
tion to change, and that spurred him to critically examine the discrepancy 
between his words and deeds and alter the self-contradiction he had created. 
Like this man, most people find uncomfortable internal inconsistencies, and 
such distress provides a wholesome catalyst for change. Ignatius's focus on 
viewing behavior as the litmus test for living the Gospel fits nicely with self- 
identity— an evolving yet enduring self-definition that strives to reflect at any 
one moment a range of consistent and coherent thoughts, feelings, and 
behaviors. In this light, encouraging people to explore their lives by devising 
some type of daily examen proves helpful. Furthermore, simply encouraging 

of Mood on Prosocial Behavior in Children and Adults," in Nancy Eisenberg, ed., The 
Development of Prosocial Behavior (New York: Academic Press, 1983), 339-59. 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others ^ 7 

people to engage in actions that benefit others, that is, "doing something 
positive," can often contribute to altering an emotional state or personal 
perception. Feelings, personal behaviors, and environment (the context in 
which we live) are interconnected; and altering one of these factors (for 
example, by engaging in some type of positive behavior or choosing to think 
about some motives for gratitude) frequently enhances our other feelings, 
behaviors, and perceptions. 

3. Awareness of desires. Ignatius was reputedly a wise director of 
souls; one focus of his attention was a person's desires. We exist as a bundle 
of desires — some intense, some contradictory, some noble, some ignoble. 
Obviously, the challenge for each of us is to discern our deepest desires and 
to probe the end to which they are directed. Typically, when people have to 
make important life decisions, their thoughts and inclinations fail to con- 
verge and flow along a single path. Rather, they frequently find themselves 
tugged in conflicting if not contradictory directions and are left uncertain 
about their lives and the decisions they must make. Working in a collabora- 
tive venture with someone seeking counsel and helping him examine which 
desires reflect his core values are immensely rewarding. As is so often the 
case, when one's deepest desires surface, the motivation to commit oneself to 
a specific choice or course of action increases. 

4. Where they are. A final dimension of Jesuit spirituality that we can 
employ to advantage is Ignatius's insistence that we minister to people 
"where they are." One wise commentator on Ignatius characterized this 
approach to people as accompanying them through their door and coming 
back out with them through yours. 5 This very pastoral way of thinking is 
especially suited for working with youth. It is crucial for directors to have 
an understanding of young peoples' perspectives. Their reading material, 
their interests, and their sources for meaning all offer critical data that 
cannot be ignored. Of course, such knowledge is essentially a means to an 
end. Provided with such information, we can counsel youth in such a way 
as to offer them loving care and compassionate challenge. Moreover, regard- 
less of whom we serve through our ministries, we must cultivate a compas- 
sionate yet objective perspective, a sympathetic understanding of the de- 
mands and pressures besetting others and the internal experiences they are 
seeking to sort out. 

looooofloaaa*— QflBflaaaflaeaaaaflflaoifleaaMoaaoflaofloBoafloBoaeaaoeooooaoao«ao>OBaoooaooaaa«aaoa« oooo»oo«oaaQaaoaeooooaaooo«a>mi 

Thomas H. Clancy, S.J., The Conversational Word of God (St. Louis: The 
Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1978), 26-28. 

8 * Charles M. Shelton, S.J. 

Questions to Ponder 

1. As I look back on my years in the Society, how has the spirituality 
I have come to accept and grown comfortable with informed and 
influenced my counseling of others? 

2. Being as specific as possible, what aspects of Jesuit spirituality do I 
find most compatible with and supportive of my ministerial style? 
my counseling of others? 

Practicing Jesuit Counsel: Spiritual Direction, Pastoral 

Counseling, and Therapy 

Below we will explore the essential domains of spiritual direction and 
pastoral counseling. In order to provide greater clarity to the discus- 
sion by means of contrast, we introduce a third form of counsel- 
psychotherapy (hereafter referred to simply as therapy). Whereas most 
Jesuits at times do some form of pastoral counseling and a significant num- 
ber of men are spiritual directors, considerably fewer are psychotherapists. 6 
Nonetheless, interjecting therapy into this discussion proves helpful in 
defining the first two terms. We will first examine spiritual direction and 
then therapy and pastoral counseling. Given the multiple perspectives and 
definitions available, the goal of our discussion is not to establish a precise, 
unassailable meaning for each. Rather, the intent is to set forth the range 
covered by each form of counseling, in order to draw the necessary distinc- 
tions contributing to greater self-insight and guidance capability. 

First, let us explore spiritual direction. In the Christian tradition 
spiritual direction possesses a rich heritage, yet no definition of this term 
meets with everyone's approval. Essentially, spiritual direction enables one 
to plumb more deeply the question, What is my experience of God? or, 
Where is the Lord leading me now? More broadly, spiritual direction is a 
relationship in which a director provides support, guidance, and insight 
regarding the directee's experience of God. More specifically, spiritual 
direction enables a directee in the circumstances of his or her current life to 
address the question, What does the Lord ask of me now? Or, even more 

6 When I speak of Jesuits who are "psychotherapists," I am referring to those 
men who have successfully gone through the necessary training and examinations that 
allow them to be licensed or certified by state regulatory agencies as, for example, social 
workers, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, licensed personal counselors, and so forth. 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others •!• 9 

basic, Where is God in my life? As such, spiritual direction nourishes the 
spiritual life by fostering a person's growing appreciation for and understand- 
ing of his or her religious experience. 

If spirituality is the religious experience at the heart of every religion, 
spiritual direction can be considered the art of guiding and supporting 
someone in that experience. More formally, spiritual direction can be 
defined as an interpersonal relationship that fosters the discovery and 
nourishment of the transcendent or spiritual aspects of our lives. 7 

To help unravel the meaning of spiritual direction, we might try 
this exercise. Think of the term "spiritual direction" and free-associate for a 
minute or so. What words surface as you probe the meaning of spiritual 
direction? Trying this exercise myself elicited the following words and 
phrases: dialogue with God, prayer, flow, spiritual or religious experience, 
reflection, narrative, stories of God, and the question, What is God asking? 
Though this exercise fails to provide any airtight definition for spiritual 
direction, it does reveal a scope or range within which spiritual direction 

More concretely, spiritual direction focuses on an individual's 
religious experience. During a religious experience one confronts Mystery— the 
radical otherness that invites surrender. The fruits of such experience are 
often new layers of meaning and purpose, greater degrees of connection and 
wholeness, and increased willingness to respond unstintingly in service to 
other men and women. In essence, religious experience enhances one's 
capacity for selfless love, which, in the Christian tradition, is modeled on the 
life and death of Jesus. In sum, religious experience invites, on our part, a 
willing receptivity. It encourages a tranquil spirit that refrains from the 
willful "I" and "me" and embraces the connecting and intertwining of self 
with other meanings. On a personal level, religious experience diminishes the 
autonomous self and enhances the communal self. It beckons wholeness and 
purpose, and links one's own experience, if even at first only at an inchoa- 
tive or tacit level, with the message and life of Jesus. 

Yet religious experience is also human experience, and one grace- 
filled joy arising from our humanness is that it is through our senses that we 
are so often invited to meet Transcendence. A work of beauty, an encounter 
with nature, an experience of love, a moment of wonder, or the joy of 

Brendan Collins, "The Changing Relationship between Psychology and 
Contemporary Spiritual Direction," Pastoral Psychology 40, no. 5 (1992): 286. 

10 * Charles M. Shelton, S.J. 

consolation—any or all when transformed by the Lord's gentle grace- 
constitute what we might term the "content domain" for spiritual direction. 8 

Having explored the scope of spiritual direction, let us now shift 
our attention to the meaning of therapy. As is the case with spiritual 
direction, there is no universally accepted definition. The psychiatrist Jerome 
Frank provides a helpful starting point. This author states, "Psychotherapy is 
a planned, emotionally charged, confiding interaction between a trained, 
socially sanctioned healer and a sufferer." 9 Utilizing Frank's definition, we 
glean the essential elements of therapy: the relationship of a professional 
with someone experiencing psychological distress, who over a period of time 
discloses acutely felt and often painful memories and feeling states for the 
explicit purpose of resolving the distress or achieving some other acceptable 
outcome (for example, effective coping skills). Crucial to Frank's definition is 
his advocacy of the "demoralization hypothesis" as a significant factor within 
the therapeutic process. Demoralization occurs when, because of a lack of 
certain skills or confusion of goals, individuals become persistently unable to 
master situations and rise to the expectations of others, or when individuals 
experience continued emotional upset that they cannot adequately under- 
stand or alleviate (16). 

Having read this description, return for a moment to the free- 
association exercise, only this time free- associate on the word "therapy." 
What words or phrases does this word generate? My list includes the follow- 
ing: dysfunction, problems in living, illness, hurting, negative feelings, 
suffering, and pain. All in all, though we have not provided any clear-cut 
definitions, the reader certainly has the sense that the focus and purpose of 
spiritual direction and therapy differ significantly. Whereas spiritual direction 
centers more on the flow of life, particularly in relation to God's call, 
therapy focuses on working through the problems in life and the subjective 
distress such difficulties create. 10 

8 Other examples might include realizing complexity in oneself, others, or 
nature; acknowledging the corrupting power of evil; experiencing ourselves as powerless; 
taking a stance that arises from personal integrity; and savoring a moment of self-insight 
about ourselves or someone we love. See also John H. Wright, "The Distinctive Quality of 
Religious Experience," Logos 2 (1981): 85-97; and Frank J. Houdek, "Jesuit Prayer and 
Jesuit Ministry," STUDIES IN THE SPIRITUALITY OF JESUITS 24 January 1992): 22-31. 

9 Jerome D. Frank, "Therapeutic Components Shared by All Psychotherapies," 
in The Master Lecture Series: Psychotherapy Research and Behavior Change, vol. 1 
(Washington, D.C.: The American Psychological Association, 1981), 10. 

10 For a more extensive treatment of this distinction and related issues of 
interest, I refer the reader to a previously published article of mine. See Charles M. 
Shelton, "Spiritual Direction or Psychotherapy: A Primer for the Perplexed," in Robert 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others •!• 11 

Distinguishing between these two forms of counsel is critical for 
both ministerial and ethical reasons. An individual seeking guidance from 
either a spiritual director or a therapist has specific needs that must be 
respected. A Jesuit ministering to someone in one of these roles, likewise, 
must have a clarity that allows him to distinguish between these two forms 
of counsel. I suspect the distinction between spiritual direction and therapy 
is clearer, on average, for Jesuits working as licensed mental-health profes- 
sionals than it is for Jesuits whose ministry includes part- or full-time 
spiritual direction. Jesuits who provide mental-health care are constantly 
reminded of their role to function only as therapists. A partial list of these 
"reminders" include their profession's written code of ethics (for instance, 
the American Psychological Association's Code of Ethics), written treatment 
plans, state licensing regulations, insurance forms, and so on. Jesuit spiritual 
directors, for the most part, lack such formal reminders. 11 In addition, my 
impression is that many Jesuit spiritual directors, understandably, read books 
and articles with psychologically related themes. In view of the lack of 
outside checks and balances along with a false or inflated impression of their 
own experience regarding psychological issues, some spiritual directors might 
at times be tempted to blur boundaries and function as a person's "unoffi- 
cial" therapist as well as his spiritual director. 12 Conceivably a director might 
respond to a directee's personal revelations in a way that steers the conversa- 
tion toward more therapeutically based goals, not taking the time to reflect 
also on the legitimate focus of his counsel. When a Jesuit director combines 
an overly optimistic appraisal of his ability and training with this limited 
awareness of boundaries, he might slowly and unthinkingly slide into the 
role of quasi therapist. A Jesuit spiritual director must make every effort to 
resist any such temptation to take on the role of therapist in dealing with a 

Wister, ed., Psychology, Counseling and the Seminarian (Washington, D.C.: The National 
Catholic Educational Association, 1993), 43-66. 

I certainly wish to acknowledge the impressive strides made in the training of 
spiritual directors, as demonstrated by the development of spiritual-direction programs, 
course offerings, and the skill building that arises from supervision and practicums. Even 
with this growing professionalization, however, spiritual direction "as a profession," unlike 
various mental-health professions, lacks government licensing and regulatory agencies to 
monitor and hold practitioners accountable. 

I realize the above statement might be a sensitive issue for some Jesuit spiritual 
directors. Even so, in the course of conversation with others, I have encountered this 
phenomenon often enough that, in my opinion, all Jesuit spiritual directors should 
critically reflect on this issue. 

12 * Charles M. Shelton, SJ. 

What about "pastoral counseling," the third type of counsel under 
discussion? I wish to say at the outset that, as in the case of both spiritual 
direction and therapy, there exists no universally accepted definition. In fact, 
I suspect that of the three types of counsel under consideration, the nature 
of pastoral counseling very likely gives rise to the most disagreement. In my 
view, the scope of pastoral counseling bridges both the disciplines of spiritual 
direction and of therapy. From the former are derived content areas includ- 
ing a faith context, prayer, and moral struggles. For the sake of clarity, let's 
refer to this decidedly spiritual or religious focus as the "pastoral" aspect of 
pastoral counseling. On the other hand, from the "counseling" dimension of 
pastoral counseling, we derive themes such as suffering, problems in living, 
and painful emotions. In sum, when a Jesuit counsels someone pastorally, he 
is, in effect, helping an individual resolve, bring clarity to, or more fully 
understand personal struggles and problems (for instance, alcoholism, 
divorce), especially as such difficulties are encountered while on one's 
spiritual or faith journey to discover Mystery more fully or a sense of the 
Transcendent. 13 Note that the struggles and problems individuals address in 
pastoral counseling need not directly bear on their faith or spiritual lives. 
Moreover, in some instances, pastoral counseling is done with people whose 
own life-views exclude any explicit faith reference or who consider the very 
notion of spirituality irrelevant to their lives (for example, an agnostic or 
alienated teenager). Nonetheless, pastoral counseling has as its ultimate goal 
enabling an individual to view life's difficulties and challenges within some 
context that ideally incorporates a reference to the spiritual life or a faith 
context, even though in individual cases such a context might never be stated 
explicitly. 14 

Because pastoral counseling focuses on human problems in living, 
the temptation might arise at times to focus solely on such problems. For 
secular counseling (therapy) this might well be adequate, but for pastoral 
counseling there is need to balance this concern with the "pastoral" dimen- 
sion. When pastoral counselors choose to dwell only on this "counseling" 
aspect, they run the risk of adopting a psychological mind-set in which the 
subjective self becomes the moral reference point and redemptive suffering is 

13 See, for example, Barry K. Estadt, "In Pursuit of Freedom: Introductory 
Comments on Pastoral Psychology," Psychology of Religion Newsletter, American 
Psychological Association, Division 36 18 (Winter 1993): 1-7. 

14 It is conceivable that in some pastoral situations an individual might request a 
meeting with a Jesuit in which neither knows at the outset whether the first and 
subsequent meetings will fall under "spiritual direction" or "pastoral counseling." In such 
instances, it is prudent to seek clarity and make explicit the purpose for such meetings. 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others •%• 13 

reduced simply to another problem needing resolution. 15 Our efforts at 
pastoral counseling must not dilute the Christian message to a merely 
palatable mixture of psychological themes. When our pastoral counseling 
goes down the road of seeking only a psychological understanding of the 
person, then it becomes possible for vital issues such as "grace," "forgive- 
ness," and "sin"— the very heart of pastoral care— to be interpreted under a 
psychological lens to mean "self-actualization," "reframing," and "self-esteem 
issues." The psychiatrist Robert Coles addresses this problem in such a 
forthright manner that I quote him at length on this point: 

Especially sad and disedifying is the preoccupation of all too many clergy 
with the dubious blandishments of contemporary psychology and psychia- 
try. I do not mean to say there is no value in understanding what psycho- 
analytic studies, and others done in this century by medical and psychologi- 
cal investigators, have to offer any of us who spend time with our fellow 
human beings— in the home, in school, at work, and certainly, in the 
various places visited by ministers and priests. The issue is the further step 
not a few of today's clergy have taken whereby "pastoral counseling," for 
instance, becomes their major ideological absorption and the use of the 
language of psychology their major source of self-satisfaction. Surely we are 
in danger of losing our religious faith when the chief satisfaction of our 
lives consists of endless attribution of psychological nomenclature to all 
who happen to come our way. 16 

In a society where psychological explanations abound, it is helpful to reassess 
periodically where we place the emphasis in the counsel we provide. In sum, 
we must ensure balance in our counsel, to be sure that the pastoral compo- 
nent will receive proper attention. 

One way we might reinforce this pastoral dimension is to designate 
specific "domains" for pastoral counseling. In their roles as pastoral counsel- 
ors, Jesuits help people sort through the complexity and challenges of human 
living encountered during their faith journeys. These challenges are often 
best addressed through one of the following three domains: (a) fostering self- 
insight, (b) articulating values, and (c) developing conscience. Keeping these 
three domains in mind, I propose that a Jesuit's pastoral counseling have as 
primary goals helping others develop self-awareness, articulating religious and 
personal values, and aiding moral decision making. Thus, when functioning 
in the role of a pastoral counselor, a Jesuit should put his major focus on 
helping his counselees achieve greater awareness of who they are, what they 

Richard Rohr, "Why Does Psychology Always Win?" Sojourners 10 
(November 1991): 10-15. 

Robert Coles, Harvard Diary: Reflections on the Sacred and the Secular (New 
York: Crossroad, 1989), 93. 

14 * Charles M. Shelton, S J. 

believe in, and how they make moral decisions. Let's take each domain 

1. Fostering self-insight. If we are to be open to the Lord's grace, we 
must continually strive for self-knowledge. What we think and how we feel 
can exert tremendous influence over how we understand and discern the 
Lord's call to discipleship. For example, distorted thoughts or acutely painful 
feelings all too easily preoccupy us, thereby eclipsing a more balanced 
interpretation of our situation. Anger, lingering guilt, and unresolved hurts 
absorb psychic energy, blocking more hopeful understandings of our situa- 
tion or consideration of more adaptive coping strategies. Fertile areas to 
process with counselees when addressing issues of self-insight might include 
the following: emotional needs, a current problematic situation, major life 
influences, effective coping strategies, and significant causes of personal stress. 
All of us have engaged in the sort of active listening that promotes a sense of 
care and provides feedback, thereby enabling people to acquire insight about 
both themselves and their life situations. Addressing the human context and 
current functioning of a counselee's life makes eminent sense, since the 
Lord's grace works through who we are at any concrete moment of our 
existence. Oftentimes a question or some reflective feedback helps orient the 
counselee to frame a difficult life situation within a faith context. For 
example, after helping the counselee gain self-knowledge, questions such as, 
"Have you thought about how this experience has made you a better 
person?" or, "Where might God be in all of this?" help to ensure that the 
integrity of the "pastoral" dimension is maintained. 

2. Promoting value awareness. A basic tenet of counseling is that 
"the essence of being human is the right and the capacity for self-determina- 
tion, guided by purposes, values, and options. Out of our free will we can 
give our lives meaning even in the face of inevitable death." 17 As a Jesuit's 
counsel aids someone's self-knowledge, the individual often reaches a mo- 
ment when he or she sees the need to evaluate at greater depth some per- 
sonal course of action. Some commonplace questions we can explore with 
the men and women we counsel might be: Who am I becoming? What are 
my desires? What is truly important in this situation? What are my hopes 
and dreams? A common theme running through these questions is the 
notion of significance— what values are most central to counselees at this 
point in their lives and what can they do, given their circumstances and life 
situation, to live these values in their daily lives? 

3. Making moral decisions. It is vital that as pastoral counselors we 
encourage people to make informed and healthy moral choices. The most 

17 Frank, "Therapeutic Components," 11. 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others •!• 15 

practical way to do this is to help individuals form their consciences. 18 
Obviously, conscience involves understanding what one ought to do (and 
doing it). But we shortchange its richness if we define conscience solely in 
terms of what we perceive through a cognitive lens. In its fullest meaning, 
conscience consists in the dynamic interplay of emotion and thought 
whereby an individual comes to feel a healthy sense of self, develops a 
growing sensitivity to others, and thinks through and implements well- 
reasoned moral principles. Conscience, for the Christian, is the guiding light 
for behavior (see Rom. 13:5, 14:23) as well as the moral source for person- 
hood. However, the goal of developing a fully mature conscience always 
contends with personal limitations, lack of personal growth, and physical, 
interpersonal, and social stressors that so often frustrate sound moral deci- 
sion making, if they do not preclude it entirely. "Pastoral counseling ad- 
dresses a particular person, with a unique history, in a particular situation. " 19 
We need not only to encourage healthy and well-thought-out moral deci- 
sions on the part of those we counsel, but also to help them discern the 
human frailty that accompanies all moral decision making. With this in 
mind, we can help counselees by encouraging them to focus on and be 
conscious of what specific moral principles they adhere to, how they apply 
them, and what the consequences of such applications might be. Further, a 
profitable strategy is to reflect with them on the qualities of a "mature" 
conscience as well as on the linkage between healthy moral decision making 
and ongoing critical reflection, continual self-examination, and dialogue with 
others within the faith community. 20 

All in all, any attempt to define pastoral counseling proves some- 
what elusive. No doubt, most of us have found our roles as pastoral counsel- 
ors to be at times anything but clear as we aid others struggling with very 
human problems and personal questions of meaning. Even so, by directing 

I have set forth a multidimensional theory of conscience that can be applied to 
people's everyday lives of work and relationship. See Charles M. Shelton, Achieving Moral 
Health (New York: Crossroad, 2000). 

J. Milburn Thompson, "Pastoral Ministry and Moral Theology," New Theology 
Review 4 (February 1991): 54. 

Of course, to address issues such as "conscience" and "moral decision making" 
brings up the matter of the Jesuit's own beliefs on a wide variety of issues (for example, 
sexuality) and the correspondence or lack thereof between the official Church teaching 
(magisterium) and various other theological viewpoints, exploring whether they are in 
accord with, in tension with, or at odds with those teachings. Just as the Jesuit invites his 
counselees to think critically about their moral beliefs, he too must be open to reflect 
critically on his own moral positions, to converse with others about his stances, and to be 
willing to be challenged concerning them. 

16 * Charles M. Shelton, S.J. 

our efforts with counselees toward gaining greater self-awareness, promoting 
gospel values, and encouraging sound moral decisions, we help to ensure that 
our counsel reflects a clarity of purpose and that it is carried out with 

In conclusion, we might derive benefit from reflecting briefly on the 
three forms of counsel discussed above. Spiritual direction's focus is helping 
a person understand his or her religious experience and relationship with 
God. Pastoral counseling is directed toward helping people to clarify, make 
sense of, or find meaning from personal problems in living, especially as 
these difficulties relate to their faith journeys. Ideally, this purpose is 
achieved through helping others gain self-knowledge, develop greater aware- 
ness of their religious and personal values, and enhance their ability to make 
authentic moral choices. Therapy (psychotherapy), on the other hand, has as 
its primary goal helping someone to resolve or cope with significant emo- 
tional distress and problematic behaviors that impede or impair one's ability 
to achieve personal goals and attain the greatest degree possible of human 

Questions to Ponder 

1. When I counsel someone pastorally, do I take the time to consider 
what goals I wish to achieve with the counselee? 

2. How do I understand the "pastoral" and "counseling" aspects of 
pastoral counseling? In what ways have I experienced tension be- 
tween them as I counsel others? What ways have I used to resolve 
such tensions? 

3. Do I agree with the position that some focus areas (domains) exist 
which are proper to pastoral counseling? If so, what are the relevant 
areas or domains that I usually address when counseling someone 
pastorally? If not, how do I prevent my pastoral counseling from 
becoming spiritual direction or secular counseling (therapy)? 

If the Jesuit participates in an ongoing group-discussion format 
either through his community or with a group that meets on a regular basis, 
the following two exercises might prove helpful. 

4. Each member of the group takes the time to share pastoral encoun- 
ters where he has felt the tensions between the "pastoral" and the 
"counseling" dimensions of his pastoral counseling. 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others •!• 17 

Each member of the group gives her own definition of spiritual 
direction and pastoral counseling. As a group goal, all try to reach a 
consensus on a definition for these two terms. 

Some Practical Issues regarding Jesuit Counsel 

The ministries Jesuits undertake provide numerous opportunities for 
offering pastoral counseling and spiritual direction. In the course of 
such counsel as well as through other ministerial relationships, four 
practical issues commonly surface: (a) the need to set boundaries, (b) the 
commitment to keep confidences, (c) the necessity at times to make a 
referral, and (d) the presence of a transference. Each of these issues is ex- 
plored in more detail below. 

A. Setting Boundaries 

From my entrance into the novitiate until the day of my ordination 
a decade later, I don't recall ever hearing the word "boundary." Yet in the 
last fifteen years this word has become one of a number of common themes 
addressed in training programs in pastoral ministry. Even the most recent 
general congregation of the Society made explicit reference to the need for 
Jesuits to set boundaries when it noted, "It is especially important that those 
in ministries like spiritual direction, counseling, or therapy keep appropriate 
'professional' boundaries." 21 

Normally we do not think about our skin, but more than anything 
else it provides us with a physical boundary (limit) that not only defines us 
but also distinguishes us from others. In a similar vein, a boundary, in the 
context of Jesuit counseling, is best understood as an appropriate limit on 
the relationship between a Jesuit and a counselee or directee. Respecting 
boundaries serves a twofold purpose. First, it maintains the integrity of a 
Jesuit's counsel. Second, it offers protection for both the Jesuit and the 
person receiving his counsel. 

Our counsel requires appropriate boundary setting primarily be- 
cause, for the most part, when people come to us they have a need. When 

21 No. 254 (p. 123). 

18 •!• Charles M. Shelton, SJ. 

others approach us with specific needs, certain implications become clear. 
First, their need makes them vulnerable. Second, as a consequence of this 
need, the Jesuit has a certain "power" in the relationship. Third, this "need/ 
power" dynamic creates a power imbalance. A Jesuit might exercise his 
power in any number of ways. For example, he can make a suggestion or 
apply a specific skill or expertise he has acquired through his training. Or, to 
give other examples, a Jesuit administrator can make decisions on budgetary 
matters, hiring choices, or personnel decisions, while a Jesuit pastor has 
influence in matters pertaining to parishioners' sacramental life or parish- 
staffing issues. Power is also evident through the exercise of the priestly 
office, for example, offering the sacrament of reconciliation or working with 
a troubled spouse on an annulment. Finally, though we have grown so 
accustomed to its place in our self-identity that we usually do not consider 
its influence, merely writing "SJ." after our name can be viewed as a display 
of power. From a psychological perspective, and increasingly from a legal 
one, simply being a seminarian, a priest, or a member of a religious order 
confers a status that might be construed as having power vis-a-vis another 
person. 22 

Of course, the issue is not power per se. Rather, the issue is how a 
Jesuit uses such power in his counsel of others. Generally speaking, a 
boundary violation occurs when a counseling Jesuit acts in ways serving to 
satisfy his need rather than the need of the person seeking his assistance. I 
believe that, as a whole, when engaged in counseling others, members of the 
Society, mindful of their personal integrity and commitment to the vowed 
life, maintain appropriate boundaries. But because boundary violations can 
range from the seemingly innocuous and subtle to the quite overt and 
explicit, a short list of examples might be helpful. Thus, focusing on all the 
counseling situations in which a Jesuit might find himself, we can suggest 
these possible boundary violations: (a) manipulating someone we counsel to 
ask us certain questions so that we can display our knowledge, (b) encourag- 
ing counselees to divulge more of their personal lives than is necessary, 
(c) shaping the conversation in such a way that we encourage dependence on 
the part of a counselee, (d) suggesting topics or specific responses that gratify 

22 This statement might come as a surprise when we reflect on our involvement 
in some counseling situations. At times we might even have felt we were being held 
hostage psychologically by someone we were trying to help in our role as spiritual 
director or pastoral counselor. For example, most Jesuits can recall instances when the 
sheer personality, manipulation, or actions of the person they were counseling made them 
feel anything but powerful or equal in the counseling situation! Even so, the social and 
official status we have as religious, by virtue of the fiduciary trust such a role entails, 
makes us seem like men possessing power even in these encounters. 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others •!• 19 

us rather than aid the directee, (e) volunteering inappropriate self-disclosures 
that make us the focus of attention, and (f) engaging in inappropriate physi- 
cal contact with the person receiving our counsel. 

GC 34 acknowledges the gravity of boundary violations when it 
bids Jesuits to be "professional" in their conduct as priests and religious. A 
footnote in decree 8 elaborates what being such a "professional" entails. 

A "professional" relationship implies much more than a merely contractual 
or even business relationship in that, unlike these latter, it is conducted not 
between equals but between two unequal parties, one of whom (the profes- 
sional) has expertise and experience in the relevant area, while the other 
(the client) is ignorant in this area and requires access to professional skills 
and acumen. The professional to this degree is, quite legitimately, in a 
position of power and authority. To act "professionally" involves not only 
making one's expertise available but also not abusing the power relationship 
to manipulate the client. It requires objectivity, impartiality, sensitivity, and 
delicacy both in making the expertise available and in empowering the 
client to pursue his or her interest, rather than inducing in the client a 
dependence on the professional. 23 

How might boundary violations be avoided? During my years of 
clinical work with priests, seminarians, and religious, I have found one of 
the most consistent characteristics of boundary violators is their inability to 
satisfy their needs in healthy and appropriate ways. Most people do find 
ways to meet their needs; but the crucial question is, Are these needs 
fulfilled in "appropriate" ways that encourage a happy, healthy, and produc- 
tive apostolic and human way of living? Because we are human, we might 
have moments or periods in our lives when, because of the "needy" state in 
which we find ourselves, we are drawn into some foolish action or inadver- 
tently stumble into some minor boundary violation. The true boundary 
violator, on the other hand, displays through his counsel a consistent pattern 
of using those for whom he provides pastoral care in ways that primarily 
satisfy his own needs. More often than not, a combination of such factors as 
previous life history, temperament, limited self-insight, poor decision mak- 
ing, impaired interpersonal relationships, and difficult living conditions draws 
a boundary violator into a life of dysfunction and results in a subtle, if not 
overt, manipulation of others. Such individuals manifest more than a tolera- 
ble level of dysfunction, and their boundary violations are symptoms of 
significant life issues and human impairment, as well as wrongful means for 
satisfying personal needs. 


No. 253, n. 25 (p. 122), emphasis added. 

20 * Charles M. Shelton, S.J. 

Related to the above, some men who violate boundaries live in 
community situations that are less than ideal. I raise this issue simply to 
point out that, although each Jesuit must take responsibility for his actions 
and be accountable for them, there is no denying that the quality of his 
living situation supports and sustains either appropriate or inappropriate 
behaviors. A married man experiencing marital problems is a vulnerable 
human being who might be tempted to engage in inappropriate behavior as 
a way of assuaging the negative feelings he harbors toward his spouse. A 
Jesuit who feels upset with or unappreciated by his community likewise 
might be tempted to violate boundaries, in part to ease the negative feelings 
of hurt, disappointment, or anger he experiences in community life. In other 
words, unless a Jesuit feels rooted in his community and bonded to his 
brothers, the lure to violate a boundary might, at times, surface. Moreover, 
GC 34 implicitly acknowledges the temptation to perpetrate boundary 
violations when it explicitly recognizes brotherly support as an important 
aid to leading a chaste life. "Further, chastity is a shared responsibility of all 
Jesuits to safeguard seriously and to further through their mutual fraternal 
support and friendships as well as through the aid they offer superiors in 
their care for their companions and for the Society." 24 

In addition to the above discussion of the more typical types of 
boundary violations, the advent of computer technology and increasingly 
sophisticated forms of cyber-space communications creates the opportunity 
for a different type of boundary violation, this one spawned by the inappro- 
priate use of technology. It is estimated that by the year 2002, nearly 43 
percent of American households will be online (compared to 8.6 percent in 
1996) and the total number of Internet users will number 85 million Ameri- 
cans (compared to 12.5 million in 1996). 25 Given this rapid rise, it is safe to 
assume that e-mails, Web sites, chat rooms, and even virtual reality will 
undoubtedly become more and more a part of Jesuit life in the years ahead. 
Obviously, such enhanced technology affords increased opportunities for 
Jesuits to communicate with one another and aids them to gather and 
disseminate needed information. Yet the allure of online communication 
poses several dangers. Communicating online feels anonymous and often 
venturesome. The temptation might exist to experiment with or "try on" a 
new and daring "self." Lacking face-to-face encounters that convey disapprov- 
ing facial gestures or voice tone, the interaction taking place online "feels" 

24 No. 266 (p. 127). 

25 Statistics are from the U.S. Department of Commerce and cited in American 
Psychological Association, "What Makes a Successful Cyber-Student?" APA Monitor 31 
(April 2000): 11. 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others •$• 21 

safe, secure, and secret and, as a consequence, might stimulate fantasy 
reflected through increasingly provocative statements and questions to 
someone "out there." "The online world lacks the checks on self that shape 
and constrain behavior in the offline world." 26 Accordingly, it is not unrea- 
sonable to conclude that a person's distressed or needy emotional state might 
prod him to seek false comfort and support through online communication, 
or use such technology (for example, chat rooms) as a way to distract 
himself from acknowledging and coping in a healthy manner with emotional 
problems demanding to be addressed. In addition, for millions of people 
Internet usage has become a significant source for sexual information, 
communication, exploration, and stimulation. 27 Moreover, a majority of 
Internet users are well-educated males. 28 A growing number of mental-health 
professionals — though acknowledging the multiple benefits Internet usage 
provides — view the Internet as capable of creating opportunities for problem 
behaviors, compulsive usage, and even addiction; thus every Jesuit must 
scrutinize "how" he uses such valuable yet enticing technology. 29 This 
scrutiny includes examining (a) the amount of time he spends on the Inter- 
net, (b) the content of his online communication, (c) the individuals with 
whom he communicates, and (d) the type of information he seek online. 
Needless to say, the aura of anonymity that accompanies online communica- 
tion is a false security. Messages sent and Web sites hit are traceable. Consid- 
ering all these factors, Jesuits, like all mature ministers of the Gospel, are 
rightly expected to use online communication in ways that are prudent, 
appropriate, and professional. 

Against this background, we can list self-awareness and ongoing 
reflection as the essential steps for maintaining boundaries. The reader might 
find it helpful to draw upon his or her own personal experience and use a 
case-study approach here. To offer one example, a Jesuit might call to mind a 
person he counseled while exercising his role as a spiritual director or 
pastoral counselor. As he thinks about his interactions with this directee or 
counselee, he might reflect on any of the questions below that might gener- 

26 Bridget Murray, "A Mirror on the Self," APA Monitor 31 (April 2000): 17. 

7 See Alvin Cooper, Coralie R. Scherer, Sylvain C. Boies, and Barry L. Gordon, 
"Sexuality on the Internet: From Sexual Exploration to Pathological Expression," 
Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 30 (1999): 154-64. 

28 American Psychological Association, "Psychologist's Work and Dreams Led to 
the Rise of the Internet," APA Monitor 31 (April 2000): 10. 

29 Tori DeAngelis, "Is Internet Addiction Real?" APA Monitor 31 (April 2000): 

22 4* Charles M. Shelton, SJ. 

ate an insight or self-knowledge regarding his role as a "Jesuit of good 
counsel. " 30 

1. Given that fostering greater self-awareness is a worthy goal toward 
which I can strive, I might gently probe my motives and desires and 
ask the question, What "reasons" come to mind that help me to 
understand "why" I counseled this person? 

2. What did I learn about myself from this relationship? 

3. In offering counsel to this person, was I tempted to self-disclose 
"more about me" than is normally appropriate? 31 

4. Did I find myself sexually attracted to this person? If so, what 
appropriate measures did I use to handle these feelings? 

In addition to the case-study approach used above, it is often helpful 
to take the time to periodically reflect more generally on the counseling I 
do, on my own life situation, and the extent to which I allow for "self-care, " 
which has as its goal, ultimately, more effective ministerial service to the 
People of God. In this regard, some of the following questions might prove 

5. If I made a list of the "needs" I have in my life, what would I write 
down? Do I have healthy ways to meet these needs? 32 Can I name 
the personal needs that are met when I offer counsel to others? 

6. What does it mean for me to say I live a "healthy life?" 33 

7. Am I able to place necessary "limits" on the counsel I do (for 
example, number of people, length of conferences, times of day, 

30 These questions and statements are based on personal reflections regarding my 
clinical and pastoral work as well as discussions with colleagues in both fields. 

This question is not meant to say that we should never self-disclose. The 
important point to keep in mind is that when a Jesuit counsels someone, he is there for 
the person seeking his assistance and not the other way around. Generally speaking, a 
Jesuit's self-disclosure should have as its purpose to aid the person seeking counsel. 

Obviously, unless we are masochists we do counsel others because of a 
naturally occurring and grace-filled "need" to help others. From this perspective, it is 
hardly inappropriate if we feel some sense of satisfaction or pride in providing help for 
others. Nonetheless, our personal motivations must be probed carefully, because excessive 
self-gratification and power trips always lurk as possible motivations. To say this another 
way, rarely are our motivations totally pure or singular in purpose; as a consequence, we 
must scrutinize our consciousness and be willing to admit that a darker side might be 
clouding our intentions. 

33 For healthy characteristics of Jesuit living, see Charles M. Shelton, 
"Reflections on the Mental Health of Jesuits," STUDIES IN THE SPIRITUALITY OF JESUITS 23 
(September 1991): 9-15. 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others + 23 

frequency of sessions)? Am I able, if the situation demands, to 
question whether I should be the one offering this person counsel? 

8. Am I as aware as I might be of multiple relationships (relating to 
someone through two or more roles) that currently exist in my life 
or might occur in the future? 34 

9. In terms of the apostolic commitments I have, how do I respond to 
the twin pressures of declining manpower and aging? In light of 
these "pressures," do I find myself feeling, at times, "burned out"? 
Do I detect in myself the temptation in my apostolic work simply 
to try "to do more" as the manpower shortage grows more acute? In 
light of the theme of the three previous questions, how do I "feel" 
about the statement of GC 34 that a Jesuit "must avoid a style of 
life and of work that puts him under excessive affective stress or 
that necessitates a continual suppression of his own feelings and 
leads eventually to affective regression, 'burnout,' or some kind of 
psychic disturbance"? 35 

10. Do I have both trusted and knowledgeable Jesuit and lay friends in 
whom I can confide and from whom I can seek advice? 

11. Is my use of online communication both appropriate and profes- 
sional? Do I spend an excessive amount of time on the Internet? 
Am I willing to question whether I use the Internet to some degree 
as a way to avoid dialogue and interaction in community with my 
Jesuit brothers? 

B. Confidentiality 

Though the most recent general congregation does not refer to the 
issue of confidentiality, it most certainly is implied in the congregation's 
statement that "Jesuits should embody in their ministry and in their lives an 

Nothing is inherently wrong in having some multiple relationships; moreover, 
in ministerial settings such relationships frequently cannot be avoided. For example, a 
Jesuit pastor might relate to some parishioners through a variety of roles; for instance, 
pastor, friend, fellow finance-committee member, spiritual director, and so on. Generally 
speaking, multiple relationships have the potential for complicating or undermining 
ministerial effectiveness. On a practical level, when multiple relationships are benign or 
cannot be avoided, then several precautions might be considered: (a) try to anticipate 
future role conflicts and discuss them with the person beforehand, (b) go over your 
concerns with a trusted colleague, (c) suggest another person who might be able to aid the 
person in specific areas. 

35 No. 260 (p. 125f.). 

24 * Charles M. Shelton, S.J. 

unequivocal 'professional' conduct (modestia) that manifests their commit- 
ments as priests and as religious." 36 In a Jesuit's ministry the issue of confi- 
dentiality is a challenging one. Some professions (for instance, psychology) 
are able to rely upon a professional organization (for example, the American 
Psychological Association) to set forth specific ethical guidelines for their 
members regarding professional conduct in general and confidentiality in 
particular. Most Jesuits who counsel, on the other hand, with the exception 
of the confessional seal, have no such set of guidelines on which to rely. 37 
To be sure, a Jesuit's common sense and ethical sensitivity serve to protect 
the confidences of others. Nonetheless, a number of factors converge to 
make it at times a challenge to preserve confidences. 

To take one example, every Jesuit knows that many pastoral 
situations are complex and that at times the input of others might prove 
beneficial. In addition, the well-intentioned inquiries from brother Jesuits 
and the structure of community life itself might tempt the Jesuit to share 
information. We might be puzzled by our counselee's actions and desire to 
seek input and clarity from a trusted Jesuit friend with whom we live. In 
such instances, our inquiry is an attempt to gather information shedding 
light on a behavior that perplexes us. We could imagine ourselves, for 
example, sitting down in the recreation room one night, or over coffee in 
the dining room, and seeking our friend's feedback in the sincere belief that 
soliciting such input is for the good of the person we counsel. Yet we would 
be wise to keep several things in mind that bear upon any disclosures we 
might make. 

Members of the Society are by and large sensitive men who find 
significant satisfaction through their Jesuit friendships. The numerous 
interlocking connections that any given Jesuit maintains and nurtures 
through his Jesuit friendships provide him with solace, support, information, 
challenge, and contentment. Granted this interconnecting, multilayered 
social system of friendship, it seems natural for a Jesuit to seek out one or 
another Jesuit friend or confidant. 

36 No. 253 (p. 122). 

37 1 am well aware that organizations of pastoral counselors and spiritual 
directors exist which have formulated ethical codes. However, the vast majority of Jesuits 
do not belong to such organizations (and hence are not bound by their norms). 
Furthermore, as noted previously, such organizations— unlike most professional mental- 
health associations— lack governmental regulatory agencies or state-association branches 
that can enforce codes, monitor their members, and apply appropriate sanctions at the 
state level. 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others + 25 

Yet it is also reasonable to conclude that the Jesuit who receives the 
confidence of his friend also has his own social system of brotherly support 
that spans more than a single community, apostolate, and geographic area; 
and depending on his own inclination, temperament, or situation, he might 
conceivably share a portion of the previously disclosed information with one 
of his friends. Thus, from the standpoint of his everyday friendships, unless 
a Jesuit keeps to himself every confidence shared with him, he can never 
guarantee that information will not be disclosed to a third party! Moreover, 
the social structure in which Jesuits live encourages a casual atmosphere, as 
rightly it should, since a man's community is his home. But in the midst of 
a relaxed, informal living situation in community, a Jesuit understandably 
might unintentionally let down his guard. Further, community life itself is a 
group-living experience; thus, the possibility always exists that the Jesuit's 
conversation with a trusted brother might unintentionally be overheard by 
others within the community. 

Obviously, it is healthy that Jesuits have other Jesuits not only with 
whom they can confide personal concerns but also from whom they can 
seek pastoral advice and guidance. To feel both a personal and a professional 
bond with the brothers with whom a Jesuit lives and works is both healthy 
and natural. Furthermore, some Jesuits, because of their position within the 
apostolate, their expertise, or their inviting and open personality, are privy 
to and carry about with them a considerable surcharge of "heavy" informa- 
tion. Quite naturally, to maintain adequate emotional and spiritual health, 
such men need brother Jesuits in whom they can confide. In sum, the 
confidences entrusted to us deserve to be safeguarded. At the same time, to 
live healthy lives both as human beings and as companions to one another, 
we must avail of opportunities to receive from and provide feedback to at 
least one or several of our brothers — depending on the issue— about the 
concerns, worries, and problems that vex us, be they of a personal or 
professional nature. 

In light of this, how a Jesuit personally resolves issues of confiden- 
tiality arising from his counseling of others does not lend itself to any 
perfectly scripted norms. Obviously, maintaining confidentiality forbids 
certain behaviors, such as engaging in gossip, disclosing someone's identity, 
or becoming overly inquisitive about privileged matters. But like so many 
life situations involving ethical sensitivity, complex problems, and human 
beings who are both noble and frail, it is far easier to delineate what not to 
say or do than to set down what is the right course of action to follow. 

Nonetheless, because holding (and bearing) confidences with integrity 
ushers us so close to the core of what it means to live as holy and honorable 
men, it should prove helpful to reflect on this issue and challenge ourselves, 

26 4* Charles M. Shelton, S.J. 

both individually and communally, to realize more perfectly the very 
holiness and honor for which we strive. The challenge to hold and bear 
confidences has applications on both our spiritual and our human lives. 
Regarding the former, a Jesuit's struggle to maintain confidences might at 
times call him through faith to utter a grace-filled prayer for courage, 
fortitude, and trust. At the same time, being only human, a Jesuit holding 
confidences might have to starkly confront the demands his own integrity 
places on him as he wrestles with the temptation to relax his self-control 
(and unnecessarily disclose to others) or to reject the humble stance proper 
to his Jesuit vocation (and share information in order to gain attention). 
With this rightful theme in mind— the call to live holy and honorable lives— 
we might reflect on the following statements. 

1. Implicit in the confidence I hold is the respect I have for those who 
disclose their problems to me. Accordingly, it might be helpful to ask myself 
periodically how my actions and behaviors respect those who have trusted 
me with their confidences. If it seems helpful, I might consider ways to 
incorporate this theme of "respect for counselees and directees" into my 
daily examen. 

2. When we judge a pastoral or counseling matter to be of such gravity 
that prudence requires us to seek the advice of or feedback from someone, 
we should take special care to uphold the twofold goal of sharing only what 
is necessary and maintaining confidentiality regarding the person's identity. 

3. When we are tired, when overly stressed, when attempting to cope 
with significant apostolic pressures, or when weighed down by a plethora of 
confidential information, prudence dictates that we attempt to impose some 
limit on the events we attend, the people we deal with, or the situations we 
encounter. At a minimum, prior to some occasions we might profit from 
developing some type of "game plan" allowing us to (a) deflect certain 
questions with a standard response, (b) minimize our presence at an event, or 
(c) exit discreetly from a situation or avoid it altogether. Moreover, when we 
are more than normally tired, stressed, or emotionally upset, we can be 
tempted to yield to the all-too-human reactions that such troubled states 
induce. Under such conditions we are more prone to overlook the needs of 
others, to miss information or social cues to which we are typically atten- 
tive, and to say things we might later regret or wish had gone unsaid. The 
good of our personal and apostolic integrity demands that we take the 
personal initiatives available to us, invite the support and challenge of 
friends, and enlist the aid of superiors, so that thus aided we can create for 
ourselves as happy, healthy, and productive an apostolic life as is realistically 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others •!• 27 

4. Our counsel, our position within the apostolate or the Society, or 
simply the numerous relationships we have formed can sometimes place us 
in a situation where we hold confidential information that is so "heavy" that 
it is simply "hard," psychologically burdensome, to keep it to ourselves. In 
such instances, we must be especially prudent as to what subject matter we 
discuss and to whom we disclose information. Along with a healthy friend- 
ship with a Jesuit we trust deeply, a knowledgeable spiritual director or 
supervisor whom we see regularly is a critically important support when the 
weight of confidences becomes especially hard to bear. 

5. It is myopic to view holding confidences with integrity as just a 
matter of concern for the individual Jesuit. As the above points reveal, we 
do need to enlist social support from others. However, we need to expand 
beyond one-on-one relationships to the very environment in which we live. 
A community might profit (depending on its size) from having a 
community-wide or small-group discussion on the "climate" of the commu- 
nity in regard to issues touching on confidentiality. This could include one 
or more of the following topics: 

a. The "quality" of daily conversation. Helpful questions here might 
be: How do I describe the "quality" of the daily conversations in our 
community? What do I think should become a part of or cease to be part of 
everyday house conversations? If I had to describe what I desire to be the 
"ideal" conversations in the everyday life of this community, what would I 
say? What might this "ideal" conversation include? What might it exclude? 

b. Respect for others. Helpful questions here might be: Are our 
everyday conversations respectful of community members? of our colleagues? 
of those we minister to? What can we incorporate into our conversation that 
is supportive of and helps invigorate our individual and communal apostolic 

c. Awareness of boundaries. Helpful questions here might be: Does 
everyday conversation lead to undue speculation or gossip about brother 
Jesuits? colleagues? people to whom we minister? What "criteria" could we 
discuss and agree upon that might then serve to guide house conversations 
and discussions? 

C. Making Referrals 

In some instances, when we offer others our counsel, we find that 
an individual's issue or problem requires the assistance of a mental-health 
professional. Though making a referral does not obviate the need for pasto- 
ral care, it is also important to recognize that appropriate pastoral care 
requires us to acknowledge the limits of our competence; for the essential 

28 + Charles M. Shelton, SJ. 

goal of pastoral care is always what most ensures the "good" of the person. 
As noted earlier in our discussion, emotional problems are increasingly a 
part of many Americans' lives. Thus, Jesuits who counsel are likely to 
periodically encounter individuals needing a referral. As a starting point, 
every Jesuit pastoral counselor and spiritual director must know his limits. 
An essential question every Jesuit must ask himself is, Do I approach my 
counseling session with a sense of humility? "Humility carries with it an 
open-mindedness, a willingness to admit mistakes and seek advice, and a 
desire to learn." 38 Having an attitude of healthy humility when we counsel 
has two dimensions, the first of which is adequate self-knowledge. Thus, for 
example, each of us needs to consider whether he possesses the necessary 
self-honesty to hold in check a tendency such as compulsive care giving. I 
recall a Jesuit once stating in the course of a meeting that he enjoyed 
working with people who had relationship problems. What the Jesuit failed 
to recognize was that many of his own relationships were in turmoil and 
that his own failure to set boundaries led to entangled relationships, compul- 
sive care giving, and poor judgment. My sense of this Jesuit was that he 
needed his counselees more than they needed him. His need to rescue people 
was a way to assuage and distract himself from his own conflicted state. 
Others became more and more aware of this, but the Jesuit remained for the 
most part oblivious to the consequences of his actions. When the counsel we 
offer others originates from our own acutely felt needs, frequently we are 
not as self-aware or as alert to the effects of our actions as we might other- 
wise be. 

A second dimension of healthy humility involves a twofold recogni- 
tion. First, a Jesuit with self-knowledge can recognize the limits of his own 
skill level and expertise. Secondly, taking into account both the strengths 
and the limitations of his own abilities and training, the Jesuit ought to have 
some understanding of the behaviors or emotional states that he should refer 
to a mental-health professional. The vagaries, complexities, and diversity of 
human actions and internal psychological states being what they are, no list 
of behaviors is likely to be exhaustive. Moreover, we should remind our- 
selves that people frequently choose to seek our counsel precisely because of 
who we are and what we represent— men whose mature pastoral judgments 
foster good counsel. As a consequence, we should not be quick to make 
referrals or defer to other professionals when people bring us their the 
problems or dilemmas. Even so, it would not be amiss here to offer some 
short descriptions of behaviors and emotional states that might, in some 

38 June Price Tangney, "Humility: Theoretical Perspectives, Empirical Findings, 
and Directions for Future Research," Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 19 (Spring 
2000): 72. 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others 4* 29 

instances, lead a Jesuit pastoral counselor or spiritual director to consider a 
referral to a licensed mental-health professional. 

1. Problems with interpersonal relationships. The person consis- 
tently displays behaviors that disrupt the development and growth of 
healthy interpersonal relationships. Examples of these behaviors include a 
history of excessively controlling one's relationships or becoming too 
dependent upon others. 

2. Deficient interpersonal skills. An individual's behavior demon- 
strates significant deficiency in interpersonal skills; this in turn frustrates or 
undermines friendship or team endeavors. She fails, for example, to be 
sensitive to the feelings of others in discussions, to perceive social situations 
accurately, or to anticipate future actions that would promote friendship. 

3. Self-esteem issues. Experiences of shame or crippling self-esteem 
issues so burden some people that they experience chronic dissatisfaction. A 
wide range of behaviors can reflect this distressing state. Examples include 
overcompensating, compulsiveness, rigidity, chronic negative self-evaluations, 
unresolved and lingering guilt feelings, and crippling inhibitions. 

4. Impairing negative mood states. Some mood states (for example, 
depression, anxiety) are so disabling that they impede everyday functioning 
and derail the pursuit of a happy and productive life. Surprisingly, even with 
the wide publicity surrounding various mental-health issues, the majority of 
individuals suffering from depression are not being treated; and many fail to 
recognize the debilitating nature of their own depression. The paralysis 
fueled by anxiety likewise has a stranglehold on many, drowning them in 
needless fears and excessive worries. 

5. Distorted self-impressions. Some individuals' perceptions of self are 
woefully distorted. They harbor unrealistic aspirations, evaluate their abilities 
and talents uncritically, and are too preoccupied with their own self-promo- 
tion. Such individuals typically display narcissistic aspects or traits: they feel 
a sense of entitlement and find it difficult to express genuine empathy 
toward or understanding of other people's perspectives. 

6. Impulse problems. An increasing number of those coming to us 
display impulse problems. Such impulsiveness increases at-risk behaviors that 
endanger the risk taker as well as others. Some examples include a history of 
sexual acting out, a chronic problem with emotionally explosive outbursts, 
or compulsive gambling. 

7. Substance abuse. The abuse of and dependence on substances (for 
instance, alcohol) create problems for an individual, those he loves, and 
society as a whole. The psychological and medical problems associated with 
addictions combine to destroy families, friendships, and lives. 

30 4* Charles M. Shelton, S J. 

8. Diffuse identity and developmental immaturity. Some experience 
profound difficulty in constructing a healthy sense of identity. They suffer 
ongoing confusion and find their lives drifting with no clear sense of pur- 
pose. Such individuals reflect a lack of self-direction and life goals. They shy 
away from following through on significant life decisions; frequently they 
cannot even make such decisions. Their diffuse identity states lead to behav- 
iors that are, developmentally speaking, often immature. These individuals 
are often described as "needy" in their relationships and ineffective in 
reaching decisions. 

9. Arrested development. Some individuals find persistent difficulty in 
letting go of previous hurts, particularly those involving painful family 
issues. They lack the psychological wherewithal to resolve lingering hurts 
originating from their families and appear to be held hostage by unnegotia- 
ted or unresolved issues with parents or siblings. In such individuals, family 
gatherings and subsequent interactions frequently trigger emotional upset 
and knee-jerk responses. Individuals who fit under this description usually 
fail to acquire proper boundary settings with other family members. 

In addition to the specific types of behaviors just described, another 
way a Jesuit can address the advisability of referral is by reflecting on 
another series of questions. To optimize the results obtained from this list, a 
Jesuit might take a moment and recall a specific counselee or directee, past 
or present. 

1. As I think about this person can I identify specific behaviors that 
cause me concern? 

2. Am I able to clarify for myself exactly how I view the problem 
adversely influencing this person's capacity to live a happy, healthy, 
and whole life? If it is appropriate to do so, am I able to share my 
concerns with the counselee or directee? 

3. Is the problem getting worse? If so, what observable behaviors or 
emotional displays lead me to this conclusion? 

4. What resources (for example, social-support networks, positive self- 
image) can this person draw upon to counteract the problematic 
behaviors or feelings troubling him? A rule of thumb here is that 
the fewer resources the individual has, the more likely it is that 
problems will surface and prove impairing. 39 

39 Usually when considering whether to make a referral, we focus exclusively on 
the problems the counselee or directee is having. Though understandable, such an 
approach is incomplete. Two people undergoing a similar stressful situation will more than 
likely respond differently if one has a number of positive attributes and resources at his or 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others •!• 31 

5. How much psychological discomfort or distress is this person 

6. If they are available, do comments and observations of others 
confirm my concerns? 

7. If the person does not seek professional consultation, what are my 
concerns or fears for this directee or counselee during the next six 
months or a year from now? Or, how will she be functioning in six 
months or a year from now if no outside consultation is sought? 
Sometimes it might prove helpful to pose this question directly to 
the counselee, to elicit a response, and then provide feedback to her 
answer. If appropriate, I might share my own response to this 

8. How is this counselee or directee similar or dissimilar to others I 
have counseled over the years whose experiences or problems 
present notable resemblances? 

9. Has this person experienced and successfully resolved the issues that 
impaired his maturity; for example, has he cultivated a firm sense of 
identity, a healthy sense of intimacy, acting in ways that suggest the 
desire to be generative? Does this person appear to lag seriously 
behind his peers in regard to these developmental tasks? 

10. If I believe it pastorally prudent to describe a person's behavior (but 
not the person's identity) to a Jesuit friend, does his response con- 
firm my own impressions and concerns? 

Usually no single response to any one question conclusively be- 
speaks the need for mental-health consultation. However, if we find our- 
selves responding to a number of these questions in ways reflecting growing 
concern for a counselee or directee, then we should seriously consider 
making a referral. 

To conclude, we must point out that referring someone to a mental- 
health professional does not mean we abandon the person (though it might 
"feel" as if this were the case), nor should referral, to reaffirm what was said 
above, diminish the Jesuit's pastoral outreach. We might refer someone and 
still see her for spiritual direction or periodically touch base with her 
regarding some pastoral matters. The most prudent course is to tailor our 

her disposal and the other is lacking such assets. A list of some "assets" might include 
healthy relationships, a positive outlook, problem-solving skills, self-insight, financial 
resources, time, and good health. 

32 * Charles M. Shelton, S.J. 

pastoral efforts on a case-by-case basis, our guiding principle always being 
what is "best" for the directee or counselee. 40 

D. Transference 

Anyone reading in the area of pastoral counseling or spiritual 
direction inevitably comes upon the word "transference. n Indeed, GC 34, 
after specifically affirming the need for boundary setting, states that a Jesuit 
should be "aware of the possibility of affective transference and countertrans- 
ference, and resistant to confusing such ministerial relationships with those 
of intimate friendship. " 41 In view of the specific context of our discussion, 
transference might generally be defined as displacing onto a Jesuit counselor 
or director feelings or unresolved conflicts that had originally been experi- 
enced during one's childhood years. The result is that the person experienc- 
ing the transference unconsciously relates to the Jesuit, not as a counselor or 
director in the present, but as a stand-in for a significant figure who in the 
past aroused conflict, hurt, disappointment, or some other strongly felt 
emotion (such as anger). A few examples might be helpful. This counselee 
agrees to every suggestion her counselor offers her and develops a depen- 
dency upon him. In the presence of this newly perceived authority figure, 
she might be reenacting a mode of conduct that she had developed years ago 
in relation to her own mother. Another example might be a directee who 
responds passive-aggressively to his Jesuit spiritual director just as he did to 
his own father. 

But, more important for our purposes, a Jesuit might also develop a 
transference onto someone he counsels (technically called a countertransfer- 
ence). Thus, a spiritual director who holds a self-inflated view of himself 
might have his needs met by an all-too-compliant directee as he continues to 
use his directee like many others in his life. Or the relationship the Jesuit 
develops with a student he counsels, for example, might mask feelings of 
fatherhood for this young adult (and he finds himself becoming protective of 
the student), or reminds him of his own youth (and he seeks perhaps to 
rescue the student), or triggers in him feelings of longing for the younger 
brother he never had (and he goes out of his way to be friendly with the 
student). In each of these instances, countertransference leads the Jesuit 

40 It is beyond the scope of this paper to detail the mechanics of the referral 
process. Minimally, however, every spiritual director or pastoral counselor should be 
aware of the mental-health resources available in his area and have a list of agencies and 
mental-health professionals whom he trusts and feels comfortable with when referring a 
directee or counselee. 

41 No. 254 (p. 123). 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others 4* 33 

piritual director or pastoral counselor to respond, not so much to what the 
>erson seeking help and guidance requires, but rather to what satisfies the 
esuit's unacknowledged motivations and needs. As a consequence, counter- 
ransference steers the Jesuit erroneously to conclude that his pastoral care is 
lelping someone when in fact his actions are to a significant degree satisfy- 
ing his own needs, while possibly having little relevance to the actual 
problems being discussed. 42 

The above discussion simply points out that we Jesuits, like every- 
one else, are human and subject to the mistakes, shortcomings, and problems 
which accompany anyone who attempts to care in some way for another 
human being. I doubt that we can state unequivocally that we have never 
had or never will have a countertransference reaction toward someone we 
counsel. Supporting this statement, research into psychotherapy and counsel- 
ing views countertransference reactions as a common and potentially disrup- 
tive factor that adversely influences the relationship between therapist and 
client. 43 I suspect any counsel we give that involves meaningful and ongoing 
contact with another person has the potential of triggering a countertransfer- 
ence reaction within us. For the Jesuit the key point is to deal honestly and 
prudently with it when it does arise in our ministerial relationships and to 
employ whatever corrective measures are necessary to resolve it. Finally, we 
should keep in mind that although countertransference reactions most 
certainly can undermine the counsel we provide, they might also, if handled 
and responded to appropriately, aid us toward personal insight, greater self- 
knowledge, and interior freedom. 

Here are some questions developed to help probe and understand 
our own actions and reactions to those we counsel. Again, a personal case- 
study approach might be profitable: recall to mind a specific directee or 
counselee and apply the following questions to that relationship. 

1. When providing counsel to this person, do I behave differently or 
have certain feelings that are not typical of what I usually feel when 
counseling others? 

42 Of course, it is conceivable that a Jesuit's countertransference significantly 
helps a counselee or directee, while assuaging the Jesuit's internal needs or conflict. The 
two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In such instances, however, the Jesuit needs a 
self-awareness that allows for careful and continuing discernment of his motives to ensure 
that the good of the counselee or directee predominates. In such situations, a prudent 
response also requires the Jesuit to seek input from knowledgeable and competent others. 

David C. Mohr, "Negative Outcome in Psychotherapy: A Critical Review," 
Clinical Psychology: Research and Practice 2 (Spring 1995): 14f. 

34 * Charles M. Shelton, SJ. 

2. Do I find myself thinking excessively about this person in compari- 
son to others I counsel? 

3. When counseling this person, do I find myself feeling stirred up or 
having feelings that make me uncomfortable? 

4. Do I find myself having overly positive or negative feelings toward 
this person and wondering why I feel so strongly? 

5. After this person leaves, do I frequently find myself wondering why 
I said this or that? 

6. Does this person's manner, physical features, life situation, or 
behavior remind me of someone from my earlier life (including 

7. Do I find this person easily provoking me for no apparent reason? 

If I counsel people on a regular basis and have one or more counsel- 
ees or directees about whom I responded positively to a number of the 
questions listed above, I might consider the possibility that I have developed 
or am developing a countertransference. 

Despite what I have just said, I wish to allay excessive and unwar- 
ranted scrutiny. Obviously, at times we might be worried and think about a 
person for good reason (for example, he is depressed, she is unemployed). 
Someone might present a difficult personality whose angry outbursts or 
passive-aggressive style drains us psychically. Naturally, we might find 
talking with this person uncomfortable and experience ourselves feeling or 
responding to him in ways that are untypical. We might even find ourselves 
saying things just to conclude a conversation or get the vexatious counselee 
to leave our office! Nonetheless, if we find ourselves answering in the 
affirmative to several of the above questions, we should pause at least to 
consider that a countertransference might have developed. Awareness of 
countertransference is vital for ministerial integrity. Failure to be sensitive to 
these issues admits the possibility that even though our intentions are noble, 
our responses, instead of providing adequate and appropriate pastoral care, 
might primarily be a means for meeting our own needs. Sadly, in some 
instances, serious harm might ensue if the counselee or directee fails to 
receive appropriate counsel. 

The following points might alert us to our countertransference 
reactions and assist us in dealing with them. 

1. Try to make time for the daily examen, as well as some moments 
for periodic critical self-reflection. 

2. Occasionally take some time to evaluate boundaries and how they 
are maintained. 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others <b 35 

3. Make a point of relying on others, such as a spiritual director and 
several close friends, to ensure a periodic "reality check" of personal reac- 
tions with the people one counsels. 

4. If necessary, consider undergoing personal therapy to help son out 
motivating triggers and issues that might generate counter-transferences. If 
this statement arouses uncomfortable feelings, recall that the "reason" for 
such therapy is not only to gain insight but also to be more apostolically 
effective and to uphold one's primary goal in counseling, to help the person 
seeking counsel. 

5. When providing pastoral care to others, take the necessary steps to 
ensure adequate self-care. Burned-out and needy Jesuits are more prone to 
develop countertransference reactions. 


I hope that this article's primary purpose has been achieved by this time: 
raising our consciousness around issues and concerns that bear directly on 
the counsel we provide. Yet even as we foster self-awareness, we should 
keep a certain reality in mind. No Jesuit would deny that on this very day a 
number of Jesuits' counseling sessions may fail to reach a level of apostolic 
effectiveness that those men desired or hoped to achieve. I ask you, however, 
to consider another and more telling fact. The total accumulated instances of 
a single day's less-than-ideal counsel are insignificant in comparison to the 
countless acts of compassionate listening, sound feedback, insightful advice, 
and loving challenge that flow directly from Jesuits' good-hearted (and 
intended) counsel. In other words, during any twenty-four-hour period the 
emotional and spiritual support we offer God's people is as uplifting as it is 
significant. On any given day, I suspect, the "difference" our counsel makes 
in assisting people to live healthy spiritual and emotional lives is staggering, 
and it is a reality that often goes unheralded, even unnoticed. From the 
perspective of humility, this is probably as it should be. Yet the failure of 
such bountiful goodness to garner attention does not mean that it should be 
ignored. Every Jesuit should be rightfully proud of the truly noble and 
fruitful apostolic richness that stems from the counsel we give and of the 
heritage to which we are contributing. The hope is that what is offered in 
these pages will motivate every Jesuit to a renewed commitment to focus 
both joyfully and reflectively on his own unique role in sustaining the 
Society's reputation as a group of prayerful and discerning men who provide 
"good counsel." 

36 + Charles M. Shelton, S.J. 

Finally, though our emphasis has for the most part been on the 
individual Jesuit's role as a provider of good counsel, we must repeat that we 
are not just men who counsel, but Jesuits who counsel. So we conclude our 
remarks with some thoughts on how our counsel relates to the apostolic 
mission of the entire Society. Whenever the Society of Jesus, through a 
provincial, missions a Jesuit to a specific apostolic assignment, several 
assumptions are implicit. For one, the man being sent by virtue of his 
integrity is expected to be willing to do his best to advance his new apostolic 
mission. At the same time, such missioning is a public statement made by 
the Society that the apostolic work to which the Jesuit has been assigned has 
ramifications for the wider mission of the Society and can be of benefit for 
the People of God. But in the context of the counsel we have discussed 
within these pages, another assumption needs stating. When a Jesuit is 
missioned, the Society of Jesus, through the man's provincial, declares to 
Church authorities, the wider Church community, and society in general 
that reasonable efforts (which always operate within the confines of human 
frailty and fallibility, and always demand openness and cooperation from the 
missioned Jesuit) have been undertaken to assure that the missioned Jesuit 
can be trusted with the People of God. It is the Society's desire, even when 
confronted with this human frailty, which is always unpredictable, that the 
missioned Jesuit's response will be one that prudently and selflessly reflects 
gospel values and mature pastoral judgment. This is not to say that the 
missioned Jesuit is without faults or ministers flawlessly — such a view is 
unrealistic. But it does express the Society's belief and hopes that the mis- 
sioned Jesuit, after examining his heart, probing his desires, and confronting 
his personal limitations, will strive to respond to others through his 
thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a manner that attempts, even at heroic 
personal sacrifice and costs, if necessary, to maintain and ensure that such 
trust is never compromised. At the same time, the Society relies, indeed, 
depends upon, the individual Jesuit's open communication with superiors, so 
that they can implement whatever interventions or personal steps might be 
necessary to foster the man's ability to uphold such trust. 44 

44 On a personal and respectful note and in order to make the points offered in 
this paragraph of the Conclusion as concrete and practical as possible, I recommend that 
every provincial as well as all province consultors and provincial staff members, when 
deliberating how best to mission their men, discuss and answer the following questions 
prior to every Jesuit's public missioning: (1) Is this man at least adequate for the 
assignment to which he has been missioned? (2) Hoping that this man has been open with 
his superiors and having taken reasonable steps to assess his suitability (relying, of course, 
on the always potentially fallible feedback and input from others), do we believe that this 
man can be trusted with the welfare of those he is missioned to serve? (3) Given an 
affirmative answer to (1) and (2), yet always recognizing the ever-present potential for 

When a Jesuit Counsels Others 4* 37 

Moreover, upon reflection, we can conclude that every time a 
provincial missions a man, the Society's own integrity is at stake. Or, to 
state it from a positive perspective, every time the Jesuit is found trustwor- 
thy by those to whom he provides pastoral care, the Society's integrity is 
strengthened and its very purpose— the aid of souls in companionship — more 
fully realized. Yet, given human frailty and our almost endless capacity for 
self-deception, every time a Jesuit is missioned there is always at least a 
potential risk that such trust to some degree will be compromised. May this 
essay remind every reader that his counsel of others always requires a true 
humility that views his own and the Society's integrity as ever fragile and 
inextricably linked. Whenever a Jesuit acknowledges and lives with integrity, 
in accord with this truth, by his humble stance he reaffirms his conviction 
that aiding souls in companionship truly makes for a wonderful life. 

human error, can we have the reasonable expectation that he will carry out his ministry 
with integrity, striving to the best of his ability to serve the welfare and concerns of those 
to whom he is missioned? I certainly acknowledge that the Society goes to great efforts to 
implement the above goals. However, at times— our own humanness coupled with very 
real factors such as losing focus in discussions, lacking sufficient data, yielding to time 
pressures, coping with jammed schedules and shrinking manpower pools, succumbing to 
personal or group frailty or self-deception ("group think"), and so on — deliberations 
concerning a Jesuit's missioning might not always be what they could be. Thus, I offer the 
above questions simply as a way to raise and sharpen awareness among the Society's 
leadership of issues and concerns that are essential for the long-term viability of the 
Society of Jesus in its corporate presence of service both to the Church and to the 
common good of society at large. 



The Spiritual Writings of Pierre Favre 
The Memoriale and Selected Letters and Instructions 

This is a long-awaited first full English translation from 
the definitive critical edition of Favre's works in the 
Monumenta Historica Societatis Jesu. 

A spiritual autobiography is a record of God's dealings 
with an individual and the person's response to God. Pierre 
Favre's Memoriale is fully in that tradition. 

Favre, the person whom Ignatius of Loyola thought the 
best director of the Spiritual Exercises, left as a legacy both a 
spiritual autobiography/diary traditionally called the Memoriale 
and a series of letters and instructions. 

The twenty-seven selected letters and instructions range 
across time, space and recipients, in time from 1540 to 1546, in 
space from almost one end of Western Europe to the other. 
The recipients include, among many others, Ignatius Loyola in 
Rome and Francis Xavier in India, King John HI of Portugal 
and a confraternity of laypersons, and a Carthusian prior in 
Cologne and a group setting out on a pilgrimage. 

The introduction places Favre's life and work in its 
historical setting, discusses the characteristics of spiritual 
autobiography, deals with the discernment of spirits in Favre's 
work, describes the several versions of the text of the 
Memoriale, puts in context the letters and instructions included 
in this volume, and tells what happened to the memory of and 
devotion to Favre after his death. 

xvi -I- 437 pp. Glossary, Indexes 
Hardcover: ISBN 1-880810-25-5 / $57.95 plus postage 
Paperback: ISBN 1-880810-26-3 / $39.95 plus postage 

The Institute of Jesuit Sources 
3700 W. Pine Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108 
Telephone 314-977-7257 / FAX 314-977-7263 

Past Issues: Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits 

(For prices, see inside back cover.) 

1/1 Sheets, Profile of the Contemporary Jesuit (Sept. 1969) 
1/2 Ganss, Authentic Spiritual Exercises: History and Terminology (Nov. 1969) 
2/1 Burke, Institution and Person (Feb. 1970) 
2/2 Futrell, Ignatian Discernment (Apr. 1970) 
2/3 Lonergan, Response of the Jesuit as Priest and Apostle (Sept. 1970) 
3/1 Wright, Grace of Our Founder and the Grace of Our Vocation (Feb. 1971) 
3/2 O'Flaherty, Some Reflections on Jesuit Commitment (Apr. 1971) 
3/4 Toner, A Method for Communal Discernment of God's Will (Sept. 1971) 
3/5 Sheets, Toward a Theology of the Religious Life (Nov. 1971) 
4/2 Two Discussions: I. Spiritual Direction, II. Leadership and Authority (Mar. 1972) 
4/3 Orsy, Some Questions about the Purpose and Scope of the General Congregation (June 1972) 
4/4 Ganss, Wright, O'Malley, O'Donovan, Dulles, On Continuity and Change: A Symposium 
(Oct. 1972) 
5/1-2 O'Flaherty, Renewal: Call and Response (Jan.-Mar. 1973) 
5/3 Arrupe, McNaspy, The Place of Art in Jesuit Life (Apr. 1973) 
5/4 Haughey, The Pentecostal Thing and Jesuits (June 1973) 

5/5 Orsy, Toward a Theological Evaluation of Communal Discernment (Oct. 1973) 
6/3 Knight, Joy and Judgment in Religious Obedience (Apr. 1974) 
7/1 Wright, Ganss, Orsy, On Thinking with the Church Today (Jan. 1975) 
7/2 Ganss, Christian Life Communities from the Sodalities (Mar. 1975) 
7/3 Connolly, Contemporary Spiritual Direction: Scope and Principles (June 1975) 
7/5 Buckley, The Confirmation of a Promise; Padberg, Continuity and Change in General 

Congregation XXXII (Nov. 1975) 
8/1 O'Neill, Acatamiento: Ignatian Reverence (Jan. 1976) 
8/2-3 De la Costa, Sheridan, and others, On Becoming Poor: A Symposium on Evangelical Poverty 
(Mar.-May 1976) 
8/4 Faricy, Jesuit Community: Community of Prayer (Oct. 1976) 
9/1-2 Becker, Changes in U.S. Jesuit Membership, 1958-75; Others, Reactions and Explanations 
(Jan.-Mar. 1977) 
9/4 Connolly, Land, Jesuit Spiritualities and the Struggle for Social Justice (Sept. 1977). 
9/5 Gill, A Jesuit's Account of Conscience (Nov. 1977) 

10/1 Kammer, "Burn-Out"— Dilemma for the Jesuit Social Activist (Jan. 1978) 
10/4 Harvanek, Status of Obedience in the Society of Jesus; Others, Reactions to Connolly- Land 

(Sept. 1978) 
11/1 Clancy, Feeling Bad about Feeling Good (Jan. 1979) 

11/2 Maruca, Our Personal Witness as Power to Evangelize Culture (Mar. 1979) 
11/3 Klein, American Jesuits and the Liturgy (May 1979) 
11/5 Conwell, The Kamikaze Factor: Choosing Jesuit Ministries (Nov. 1979) 
12/2 Henriot, Appleyard, Klein, Living Together in Mission: A Symposium on Small Apostolic 

Communities (Mar. 1980) 
12/3 Conwell, Living and Dying in the Society of Jesus (May 1980) 
12/4-5 Schineller, Newer Approaches to Christology and Their Use in the Spiritual Exercises (Sept. -Nov. 
13/1 Peter, Alcoholism in Jesuit Life (Jan. 1981) 

13/3 Ganss, Towards Understanding the Jesuit Brothers' Vocation (May 1981) 
>, St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Jews (Sept. 1981) 
illey, The Jesuits, St. Ignatius, and the Counter Reformation (Jan. 1982) 

14/2 Dulles, St. Ignatius and Jesuit Theological Tradition (Mar. 1982) 

14/4 Gray, An Experience in Ignatian Government (Sept. 1982) 

14/5 Ivern, The Future of Faith and Justice: Review of Decree Four (Nov. 1982) 

15/1 O'Malley, The Fourth Vow in Its Ignatian Context (Jan. 1983) 

15/2 Sullivan and Faricy, On Making the Spiritual Exercises for Renewal of Jesuit Chansms (Mar. 


15/3-4 Padberg, The Society True to Itself: A Brief History of the 32nd General Congregation of the 

Society of Jesus (May-Sept. 1983) 

15/5-16/1 Tetlow, Jesuits' Mission in Higher Education (Nov. 1983-Jan. 1984) 

16/2 O'Malley, To Travel to Any Part of the World: Jeronimo Nodal and the Jesuit Vocation (Mar. 


16/3 O'Hanlon, Integration of Christian Practices: A Western Christian Looks East (May 1984) 

16/4 Carlson, "A Faith Lived Out of Doors": Ongoing Formation (Sept. 1984) 

16/5 Kinerk, Eliciting Great Desires: Their Place in the Spirituality of the Society of Jesus (Nov. 1984) 

17/1 Spohn, St. Paul on Apostolic Celibacy and the Body of Christ (Jan. 1985) 

17/2 Daley, "In Ten Thousand Places": Christian Universality and the Jesuit Mission (Mar. 1985) 

17/3 Tetlow, Dialogue on the Sexual Maturing of Celibates (May 1985) 

17/4 Spohn, Coleman, Clarke, Henriot, Jesuits and Peacemaking (Sept. 1985) 

17/5 Kinerk, When Jesuits Pray: A Perspective on the Prayer of Apostolic Persons (Nov. 1985) 

18/1 Gelpi, The Converting Jesuit (Jan. 1986). 

18/2 Beirne, Compass and Catalyst: The Ministry of Administration. (Mar. 1986) 

18/3 McCormick, Bishops as Teachers and Jesuits as Listeners (May 1986) 

18/5 Tetlow, The Transformation of Jesuit Poverty (Nov. 1986). 

19/1 Staudenmaier, United States Technology and Adult Commitment (Jan. 1987) 

19/2 Appleyard, Languages We Use: Talking about Religious Experience (Mar. 1987) 

19/5 Endean, Who Do You Say Ignatius Is? Jesuit Fundamentalism and Beyond (Nov. 1987) 

20/1 Brackley, Downward Mobility: Social Implications of St. Ignatius 's Two Standards (Jan. 1988) 

20/2 Padberg, How We Live Where We Live (Mar. 1988) 

20/3 Hayes, Padberg, Staudenmaier, Symbols, Devotions, and Jesuits (May 1988) 

20/4 McGovern, Jesuit Education and Jesuit Spirituality (Sept. 1988) 

20/5 Barry, Jesuit Formation Today: An Invitation to Dialogue and Involvement (Nov. 1988) 

21/1 Wilson, Where Do We Belong? United States Jesuits and Their Memberships (Jan. 1989) 

21/2 Demoustier, Calvez, et al., The Disturbing Subject: The Option for the Poor (Mar. 1989) 

21/3 Soukup, Jesuit Response to the Communication Revolution (May 1989) 

22/1 Carroll, The Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (Jan. 1990) 

22/2 Bracken, Jesuit Spirituality from a Process Prospective (March 1990) 

22/3 Shepherd, Fire for a Weekend: An Experience of the Exercises (May 1990) 

22/4 O'Sullivan, Trust Your Feelings, but Use Your Head (Sept. 1990) 

22/5 Coleman, A Company of Critics: Jesuits and the Intellectual Life (Nov. 1990) 

23/1 Houdek, The Road Too Often Traveled (Jan. 1991) 

23/2 DiGiacomo, Ministering to the Young (March 1991) 

23/3 Begheyn and Bogart, A Bibliography on St Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises (May 1991) 

23/4 Shelton, Reflections on the Mental Health of Jesuits (Sept. 1991) 

23/5 Toolan, "Nature Is a Heraclitean Fire" (Nov. 1991) 

24/1 Houdek, Jesuit Prayer and Jesuit Ministry: Context and Possibilities (Jan. 1992) 

24/2 Smolich, Testing the Water: Jesuits Accompanying the Poor (March 1992) 

24/3 Hassel, Jesus Christ Changing Yesterday, Today, and Forever (May 1992) 

24/4 Shelton, Toward Healthy Jesuit Community Living (Sept. 1992) 

24/5 Cook, Jesus' Parables and the Faith That Does Justice (Nov. 1992) 

25/2 Donahue, What Does the Lord Require? (March 1993)— ONCE AGAIN AVAILABLE 

25/3 Padberg, Ignatius, the Popes, and Realistic Reverence (May 1993) 

25/4 Stahel, Toward General Congregation 34 (Sept. 1993) 

25/5 Baldovin, Christian Liturgy: An Annotated Bibliography (Nov. 1993) 

26/1 Tetlow, The Most Postmodern Prayer (Jan. 1994) 

26/2 Murphy, The Many Ways of Justice (March 1994) 

26/3 Staudenmaier, To Fall in Love with the World (May 1994) 

26/4 Foley, Stepping into the River (Sept. 1994) 

26/5 Landy, Myths That Shape Us (Nov. 1994) 

27/1 Daley, "To Be More like Christ" (Jan. 1995) 

27/2 Schmidt, Portraits and Landscapes (March 1995) 

27/3 Stockhausen, I'd Love to, but I Don't Have the Time (May 1995) 

27/4 Anderson, Jesuits in Jail, Ignatius to the Present (Sept. 1995) 

27/5 Shelton, Friendship in Jesuit Life (Nov. 1995) 

28/1 Begheyn, Bibliography on the History of the Jesuits (Jan. 1996) 

28/2 Veale, Saint Ignatius Speaks about "Ignatian Prayer'' (March 1996) 

28/3 Clooney, In Ten Thousand Places, in Every Blade of Grass (May 1996) 

28/4 Starkloff, "As Different As Night and Day" (Sept. 1996) 

28/5 Beckett, Listening to Our History (Nov. 1996) 

29/1 Hamm, Preaching Biblical Justice (Jan. 1997) 

29/2 Padberg, The Three Forgotten Founders (March 1997) 

29/3 Byrne, Jesuits and Parish Ministry (May 1997) 

29/4 Keenan, Are Informationes Ethical? (Sept. 1997) 

29/5 Ferlita, The Road to Bethlehem-Is It Level or Winding? (Nov. 1997) 

30/1 Shore, The Vita Christi ofLudolph of Saxony and Its Influence on the Spiritual Exercises of 

Ignatius of Loyola (Jan. 1998) 

30/2 Starkloff, "I'm No Theologian, but . . . (or So . . . )?" (March 1998) 

30/3 Torrens, The Word That Clamors (May 1998) 

30/4 Petrik, "Being Sent" (Sept. 1998) 

30/5 Jackson, "One and the Same Vocation" (Nov. 1998) 

31/1 Clifford, Scripture and the Exercises (Jan. 1999) 

31/2 Toohig, Physics Research, a Search for God (March 1999) 

31/3 Fagin, Fidelity in the Church— Then and Now (May 1999) 

31/4 Schineller, Pilgrim Journey of Ignatius (Sept. 1999) 

31/5 Fullam, Juana, S.J: Status of Women in the Society (Nov. 1999) 

32/1 Langan, The Good of Obedience in a Culture of Autonomy (Jan. 2000) 

32/2 Blake, Listen with Your Eyes (March 2000) 

32/3 Shelton, When a Jesuit Counsels Others (May 2000) 


William A. Barry, S.J. 
"Our Way of Proceeding" 

General Congregation 34 chose to 
keep the Jesuit Constitutions as 
Ignatius wrote them, but to indicate in 
the text those parts that had been 
abrogated, modified, or explained in 
the years since the first general congre- 
gation approved Ignatius's document. 
And thus the authoritative version of 
the Constitutions that we now have 
includes both the constitutions that 
Ignatius wrote, and also a set of com- 
plementary norms. Fr. Barry has taken 
this authoritative version and from it 
selected sections that form a series of 
prayerful considerations, lasting over a 
period of some seventeen weeks (each 
subdivided into six days) and provid- 
ing rich and abundant matter for 
consideration, discussion, and prayer. 
The goal of this book is to give access 
to such an interior knowledge of the 
characteristic Jesuit manner of acting, 
or "way of proceeding," that one will 
almost instinctively act in this way. 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-30-1 • $12.95 
Series iy n. 19 • pp. vii + 190 

Philip Caraman, S.J. 
Tibet: The Jesuit Century 

Between 1624 and 1721, on five occa- 
sions Jesuit explorers made their diffi- 
cult and perilous way to Tibet. They 
had no experience of others to guide 
them, and no maps. They encountered 
hardships and dangers that test mod- 
ern mountaineers with all their sophis- 
ticated equipment. One of their num- 
ber, Antonio de Andrade, was the first 
European to look down on the plains 
of Tibet; two others, Johannes 
Grueber and Albert d'Orville, search- 
ing for an overland route from China to 
India, were the first Europeans to reach 
Lhasa. Perhaps the most famous of the 
explorers was the Italian Jesuit Ippolito 
Desideri, who for five years lived with 
the Tibetans and studied their religion, 
language, and customs. 

Fr. Caraman's book gives the fasci- 
nating story of these adventurous 
European Jesuit travels across the roof 
of the world to meet in peace and 
friendship a people yet unknown to 
much of that world. 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-29-8 • $14.95 
Series IX no. 20 • pp. viii 4- 154 

tel 314-977-7257 fax 314-977-7263 e-mail IJS@SLU.EDU 



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